BORACAY – Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. of the 2nd District of Aklan is seeking the passage of a measure in the House of Representatives creating a policy-making body that will oversee the management and development of this world-famous island.
Haresco introduced House Bill No. 4175, which seeks to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of utilities, activities and infrastructure in Boracay Island.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources on Sept. 3.
“Boracay indeed is reforming and with the continuous rehabilitation, lasting changes must be implemented. The Boracay Island Council will take over the management, development, regulation, protection and maintenance of the island,” Haresco said in promoting the bill.
The island reopened to tourists on October last year after a six-month closure and rehabilitation.
Under the proposed measure, the Boracay Island Council will be under the Office of the President and will be composed of secretaries of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Other council members are administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, director of the Land Management Bureau, administrator of Land Registration Authority, and chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples as well as representatives of the province of Aklan, local community organizations and the private sector.
The bill also mandates the council to formulate short-term and long-term strategies for sustainable development, environment protection, social development and infrastructure development and to formulate and implement innovative management techniques and strategies, conduct public consultations and raise public awareness on the protection, development and optimum utilization of coastal, marine and fisheries resources.
In addition, the council is also directed to order the closure or suspension of any development or construction, file criminal charges against violators and issue cease and desist order for any act or omission that violates the “Act Creating the Boracay Island Council.”
Haresco said all utilization and development should strictly comply with the land use plan approved by the Boracay Island Council and the requirements imposed by existing environmental rules, regulations and other issuances. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)