Press Release
February 15, 2018


With Boracay, one of the best tourism destinations in the country, in danger of ending up a paradise lost if water contamination continues, Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte that Boracay needs to clean up.

Gordon added that Duterte's threat to shut down Boracay, which attracts more than 2 million tourists a year and brings in P56-billion in annual revenues, may be necessary to rehabilitate the island known globally for its pristine white sands and crystal clear waters, "Boracay is overloaded, it is beyond capacity. It's a mess. Sala-salabat ang nandiyan. They have to help themselves. It's time Boracay is reinvented. It's time - since this is a national asset even if it's under provincial control, that it is protected," he said, adding that aside from Carrying Capacity, enforcement and compliance of establishments to the sewerage line is haphazard due to changing local leaders.

The senator, who is a former Secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), said Boracay should be strengthened in its capability to control rapacious developments and added that the DOT should prepare a plan and a timeline for Boracay's rehabilitation.

Gordon also pointed to the need for a capacity survey on all beaches in the country so they won't end up contaminated. "Dapat malaman kung ilan ang dapat na dami ng papasok na tao. How many hotels can it handle? All our beaches should have a capacity survey to ensure that they are maintained properly," he said.

After conducting inspection, the DOT reported that of the 150 Boracay business establishments recently inspected by the government, only 25 were connected to the sewage line and a number of establishments drained their sewage directly into the sea. The Sewerage Line Phase 1 built by PTA (now Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) was inaugurated 15 years ago, during Gordon's term as tourism secretary and has been turned over to Maynilad in 2010.

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