A year after reopening: Rehabilitation of Boracay still ongoing
BORACAY, Philippines – The Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) appealed for continued cooperation of all stakeholders as construction projects were still continuing a year after the reopening of Boracay Island.
The popular beach destination was reopened to local and foreign tourists on October 26, 2018, some 6 months after President Rodrigo Duterte called the island a 'cesspool'.
BIARMG general manager Natividad Bernardino said rehabilitation efforts will not stop until the task force brings back the former glory of Boracay Island.
"Malapit na matapos ang rehabilitation projects, nasustain natin ang water quality at maganda ang dating ng mga tourists sa isla," Bernardino said. (The rehabilitation projects are almost done, we have sustained the water quality and the tourists are returning to the island.)
So far this year, Boracay's tourism industry generated some P45 billion in tourism receipts from January to October. A total of 2.1 million tourists, mostly coming from China, Korea and Taiwan, also stayed in Boracay Island from October 26, 2018 to October this year, which is equal to the number of tourist arrivals in 2017.
The island was voted Asia's best island by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
"Lalaki pa ito dahil sa peak season at remaining 3 months itong taon. Marami ang bumabalik dahil nakikita nila ang improvements sa isla," Bernardino said. (The number of tourists will increase because the peak season is the last 3 months of the year. Many are coming back because they have seen the improvements in the island.)
New guidelines and restrictions are strictly followed and implemented in the island by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism (DoT), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to sustain the efforts.
Among these are 25x5 meters easement, smoking, dining and drinking ban in White Beach, no LaBoracay events, follow local ordinances and environmental laws, tourists are required to present hotel reservations before entering Boracay Island, and sewage system connection or own treatment facility for hotels before opening.
"Nagtutulong ang lahat – ang gobyerno kasama ang stakeholders para maibalik ang dating ganda. We expect matatapos mga middle of next year ang drainage system at kalsada," Bernandino stressed.
(Everyone is helping – the government as well as the other stakeholders – to restore the beauty of the island. We expect to complete rehabilitation of the streets and the drainage system by middle of next year.)
"Kahit mawala pa ang task force, kailangang tuloy tuloy ang suporta ng gobyerno. Hindi pa tapos ang rehabilitation there are more things to do. Maraming proyektong ipapatupad ang gobyerno at kailangan din ang kooperasyon ng lahat para sa ikabubuti ng Boracay."
(Even without the task force, government must continue supporting us. The rehabilitation is not yet completed, and there are still more things to do. Government will continue implementing projects and we also need the cooperation of everyone for the good of Boracay.)
Bernandino said the task force would continue maintaining carrying capacity and the daily tourist arrivals in the island to protect its environment.
Currently, the island has 13,000 rooms that could accommodate some 26,000 tourists, but only 6,405 tourist arrivals are allowed daily in Boracay Island. – Rappler.com