En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists call for ac­tion as Bo­ra­cay en­ters ‘stag­na­tion stage’

Cebu Daily News - - ISLANDS - INQUIRER.NET

En­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates and ur­ban plan­ners have warned Filipinos against the en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion of Bo­ra­cay caused by con­ges­tion and over-de­vel­op­ment of the is­land.

The Philip­pine In­sti­tute of En­vi­ron­men­tal Plan­ners (PIEP) and Al­liance for Safe, Sus­tain­able & Re­silient En­vi­ron­ments (AS­SURE) is­sued a state­ment on Thurs­day say­ing that Bo­ra­cay is at its “stag­na­tion stage.”

The groups said is­land re­sorts like Bo­ra­cay go through a life cy­cle or evo­lu­tion­ary process that all tourist des­ti­na­tions go through. Stag­na­tion is the fifth stage of the life cy­cle be­fore a re­sort reaches a de­cline or re­ju­ve­na­tion.

The groups re­leased the state­ment amid re­ports that Bo­ra­cay’s wa­ters and sur­round­ings are be­ing pol­luted be­cause of un­treated waste­water and im­proper solid waste man­age­ment.

“That this is not the first time these con­di­tions have been re­ported makes us deeply con­cerned with its po­ten­tially cat­a­strophic im­pact on not only Bo­ra­cay’s tourism in­dus­try but more im­por­tantly on its res­i­dents’ and vis­i­tors’ health, safety and well­be­ing,” the groups said.

They ac­knowl­edged that slow­ing down tourism will af­fect the lo­cal econ­omy but they warned that main­tain­ing sta­tus quo has caused Bo­ra­cay to “ex­ceed the nat­u­ral environment’s ca­pac­ity to cleanse it­self.”

“It is ob­vi­ous that the is­land’s bur­geon­ing tourism growth is es­ca­lat­ing the is­land’s en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion which inevitably will im­pact on Bo­ra­cay’s at­trac­tive­ness as a prime tourist desti­na­tion,” the group said.

They pointed out that from only 229,509 tourist ar­rivals in 2000, Bo­ra­cay re­ceived 1.7 mil­lion tourist ar­rivals last year.

“It there­fore ap­pears that, con­sid­er­ing the rapidly in­creas­ing vol­ume of vis­i­tors to Bo­ra­cay, com­bined with the weak man­age­ment of its environment, the ca­pac­ity of the is­land to sus­tain its res­i­dents’ and busi­nesses’ health, safety and well­be­ing is un­der se­ri­ous threat of be­ing ex­ceeded and thus may sub­se­quently re­sult in de­cline,” they said./


Bo­ra­cay Is­land, back­dropped by the moun­tains of Malay town in Ak­lan prov­ince, is suf­fer­ing from daily power out­ages that dis­rupt busi­ness and bur­den res­i­dents and vis­i­tors in this top tourist desti­na­tion.

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