Aklan gov: We can manage Boracay
Official resists move of DENR to strip LGU of power to run resort-island
ILOILO CITY— Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores has opposed a proposal to remove the management of Boracay Island from local governments, saying partnership with the national government would help regulate the development of the island. “What is needed is collaboration between national government agencies and the local government,” he said.
ILOILO CITY— Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores has opposed a proposal of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to remove the management of Boracay Island from local governments, saying partnership with national government agencies would help in regulating development in the country’s top tourist destination.
“What is needed is collaboration between national government agencies and the local government,” Miraflores told the Inquirer.
Miraflores, also a former representative of Aklan, said local governments were capable of managing Boracay but they lacked adequate support from national agencies.
In the session of the Commission on Appointments where Cimatu’s appointment as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was confirmed last week, Sen. Franklin Drilon asked the secretary on how he planned to address the environmental problems of Boracay.
Best option for Boracay
Cimatu proposed the establishment of a national body to manage the 1,032-hectare island in Malay town in Aklan.
“The (local governments) ... they cannot manage it,” he said in the session, adding that the DENR could provide technical support.
Cimatu said the creation of a body to manage the resort-island was the “best option for Boracay at this time.”
Drilon asked Cimatu to submit his plans and recommendations to a proposed bill on the national body to manage Boracay, but noted that the proposal was not a “surefire remedy.”
A proposal to create a Boracay Development Authority not headed by elected officials and similar to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was also pushed in previous years amid the failure to resolve environmental and other problems plaguing the island.
These problems include flooding, loss of forest lands and wetlands due to overdevelopment and deteriorating water condition, especially along Bulabog beach.
In recent years, residents and tourists have also been complaining of traffic congestion as more vehicles traverse the narrow roads on the island.
Residents and business owners on the island have repeatedly complained over the failure of the government to implement and enforce laws and regulations that results in problems arising from unregulated development.
Boracay is composed of the villages of Balabag, ManocManoc and Yapak.
Tourist arrivals in Boracay reached 1,725,483 in 2016, 11 percent higher than the 1,560,106 tourists recorded in 2015, according to data from the Malay tourism office and the Department of Tourism in Boracay.
Tourism- related revenues reached P43.95 billion in 2015.
Tourists enjoy Boracay Island’s sunset.