Boracay Island

Boracay regulates sandcastle activities to protect environment

Jun Aguirre
Boracay regulates sandcastle activities to protect environment

CHEMICALS BANNED. The Malay local government's new rules regulating sandcastle building on the beach of Boracay island bans the use of kerosene gas lamps, candles, or any other decorations that may contaminate the sand.

DENR Region 6

Regulations aim to prevent further degradation of the shoreline of Boracay, which was closed for six months in 2018 for environmental rehabilitation

BORACAY, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has approved the Malay local government unit’s new policies regulating the popular sandcastle-building trade on the beaches of the world famous resort island.

Malay Mayor Floribar Bautista told Rappler on Wednesday, December 28 that DENR Region 6 director Livino Duran on December 13 affirmed the municipality’s power to “impose regulations on sandcastle building within the 25+5 beach easement and part of the forestland for protection purposes.”

The town of Malay in Ibajay province has administrative control over Boracay, the country’s premier tourist destination.

Bautista said Duran stressed the need to prevent further degradation of the shoreline of Boracay, which was closed for six months in 2018 for environmental rehabilitation. 

Boracay’s intricate sandcastles are very popular with tourists, who pay a fee for souvenir photos.  

CLEAR AT END OF DAY. Boracay’s new rules regulating sandcastle building states that the build area must be cleared and returned to its original state after the allotted period. Jun Aguirre

The mayor said the LGU and the DENR have agreed on the following regulations:

  • Sandcastle builders must secure a permit from the LGU of Malay.
  • No minor should be allowed to engage in sandcastle building during school days.
  • Sandcastle builders should be registered under the Boracay Sandcastle Makers Association or any other duly recognized groups for proper identification and training.
  • Sandcastle makers should always wear proper identification and uniforms.
  • Sandcastle building should be limited to duly identified areas on the beachfront.
  • Sandcastles shall not exceed a five-meter area limit and 1.524-meter height.
  • No chemicals, cement, or any binding agent to improve the stability of the sandcastle shall be used except for seawater.
  • Sand shall not be removed or transferred from one area to another for sandcastle building.
  • Kerosene gas lamps, candles, or any other decorations/colorations that may contaminate the sand are prohibited.
  • Sandcastle building shall be allowed only from 10 am until 4 pm.
  • Areas where sandcastles are built must be cleared and returned to their original state after the allotted period.
  • Sandcastle building outside the designated areas during special occasions requires clearance from the Malay LGU.

“Boracay Island has always been fragile. Any island ecosystem is fragile. So all the safety protocols that were put in place even during the start of the island rehabilitation should be sustained. All for the good of the island and its people,” Director Duran said. – Rappler.com

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