Press Release
February 14, 2018

Hope is not lost

Senator Nancy Binay today urged the environment department and the municipality of Malay, Aklan to organize citizens' teams that will partake in the oversight of the world-famous island of Boracay.

"Hinihimok ko po ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at ang bayan ng Malay na magbuo ng mga citizens' teams upang maging katuwang sa pagmonitor at pangangalaga ng Boracay," Binay, the Senate Committee on Tourism chairperson, said.

"Seryosong bagay ito. Boracay has been in an abusive relationship with humans. It's about time for her to say, tama na!"Binay said.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently said that he will close the island as its garbage and sewage problem poses a threat to the health of tourists.

The solon said that the formation of long-term teams composed of members of peoples', non-government, and civic organizations, marine scientists, as well as other stakeholders can add value to the work of the task force assigned to clean up the island resort.

"Kasama sa gawain ng citizen team na ito ay ang pagseguro na sinusunod at napapanatili ang pinakamataas na environmental standards sa Boracay. It will help the DENR and the LGU monitor and execute measures to prevent all kinds of pollution that impact the environment," Binay said.

"They will also serve as the eyes and ears, and periodically check that the president's list of things to do is done," she added.

Boracay consistently ranks among the best islands in the world, according to international tourist publications and websites.

About two million tourists visited the island in 2017, government data showed. It is also estimated that Boracay brings in around PhP50 billion in annual tourism receipts.

Binay last year filed Senate resolution number 313, urging the body to conduct an inquiry to promote a zero tourism waste policy in the island.

She cited a study done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and a group of Japanese and Filipino scientists from 2010 to 2015 which said that "Boracay's coral reef ecosystem has been seriously degraded by tourism-related activities".

"Direct discharge of untreated waste water near the shore brings about poor water quality level that consequently results in frequent algal blooms and coral reef deterioration," the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management (CECAM) study said.

Binay said that the group will also be part of the regular beach clean-up to keep the bayanihan spirit going, as well as manage the pollution in the island.

"Joining hands and working collectively is the most practical approach to be one step ahead in reclaiming Boracay's pristine waters," Binay said.

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