Just around 30-35 minute air travel from Manila, Boracay is known as an island with plenty of surprises but it’s more famous for its white sandy beaches that lure travelers to fall in love again and again in this beautiful place.
Years have passed, the once ‘virgin island’ became home to many beach resorts and hotels, and eventually at this present moment, Boracay has allowed itself to be open to gigantor of commercialism, which is making the island slowly lose its appeal. Much worse, too much of modernization also made the island more susceptible to danger and destruction from toxic wastes.
It’s one of the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte made an announcement to shutdown Boracay (for a while) to keep it clean and restore its beauty.
Unless Boracay is cleaned and rehabilitated, Gordon said “the country could lose the island paradise.”
“Boracay is overloaded, it is beyond capacity. It’s a mess. They have to help themselves. It’s time Boracay is reinvented,” Gordon added.
He said the focus should not be limited to Boracay but on all beaches in the country so they won’t end up contaminated.
The DOT reported that out of the 150 business establishments in Boracay that were recently inspected by the government, only 25 firms were connected to the sewage line and a number of establishments drained their sewage directly into the sea.
The Sewerage Line Phase 1 built by the now defunct Philippine Tourism Authority was inaugurated 15 years ago.
In a recent business forum held in Davao City, President Duterte threatened to shut down Boracay, which he described as a “cesspool.”
Boracay Island has hogged the limelight after Duterte’s threat to close the island if its environmental ills would not be fixed in six months.
Acting on the President’s order, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said there are 300 business establishments in the island resort that violate Chapter 5, Section 27 of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
After violators of the Philippine Clean Water Act, the DENR Region 6 would crack down on illegal structures in Boracay.
Starting Monday, DENR-6 will start serving show cause orders to 842 illegal structures in the island.
Jim Sampulna, DENR-6 regional executive director, said the 842 structures have encroached on areas that are considered as forest land.
Aside from forest land dwellers, DENR will also be checking establishments and structures within the 30-meter radius from the shoreline.
Meanwhile, Sampulna said they are also looking at overpopulation in Boracay.
One of the solutions being considered was for workers of hotels and resorts to stay in mainland Malay, Aklan.
Sampulna said the local government of Malay has the power to act on Boracay’s problems“It’s time, since this is a national asset even if it’s under provincial control, that it is protected,” he added.