‘Don’t leave Boracay to local gov’t alone’

Army trainees dig a hole in Boracay’s White Beach where there might be buried pipes on Friday, July 27. Illegal pipes buried in the island’s beaches discharge untreated wastewater into the sea, which is the reason behind the high coliform level in the island waters, according to the Environment department. DENR/BORACAY

BORACAY – This famed island resort must not be managed by the local government alone, according to Sen. Cynthia Villar.

The chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources reiterated that there must be a body tasked to oversee and manage Boracay.

The “Boracay Development Council” must be composed of representatives from the national and local governments, and stakeholders, Villar added.

She also said the proposed council in Boracay will serve as a model for other tourism destinations in the country.

Kasi nakita natin na hindi pwede na iwanan sa local government ang pagma-manage ng isang internationally- acclaimed tourist destination kasi may certain standards talaga ang mga tourist attractions to make them sustainable na hindi nagawa sa Boracay,” Villar said.

The environmental degradation in Boracay must “not happen again,” the senator stressed.

Boracay is currently halfway into its six-month closure and rehabilitation, which is led by an inter-agency tasked force headed by the Environment department.

President Rodrigo Duterte is his third State of the Nation Address on July 23 said he ordered to close off the island to tourists because he “could not allow [its] decay to continue.”

Duterte also urged local government units to “proactively enforce our laws and not wait for us to swoop down on your areas just to do your duty and work.”

The President in February called the island a “cesspool,” which eventually led to the Environment, Tourism and Interior and Local Government departments to recommend its half-year closure that started on April 26.

The government said it targets to reopen Boracay on Oct. 26./PN


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