Press Release
June 20, 2018

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the issues on Boracay

SFMD: Tama po iyan, because right now there is no management of this jewel of an island. Boracay contributes so much in the development of our country particularly in the field of tourism and yet, there is not one single body in-charge of Boracay. As we have witnessed, about a dozen of agency would have their own little kingdoms, issuing permits, etc. The local government would utilize their powers under the Local Government Code. So what do you have? A chopsuey of a management. What we would suggest is a strong administrator which can manage the place like this. It cannot be left to where it is today. All that we have now are ad-hoc solutions. We need a master plan and a master plan to be implemented by a single authority. Otherwise, maybe after six months we have some reforms done but these cannot be sustained unless there is a single authority. We are studying as a model the Subic Bay Management Authority. Governor Mraflroes has fully endorsed the idea, even if it will mean a reduction of the powers of the LGUs. For the national interest, we need a governing authority with stronger powers and can coordinate and has the final say on all these development. It must be manned by career and professional people so it could not be a political patronage.

Q: On putting Boracay under agrarian reform

SFMD: I do not know. The DAR is clear in its position. We will continue to monitor what this exactly means. The chair of the committee said this creates instability in the investment plans particularly for tourism.

Q: Are you satisfied doon sa target soft opening?

SFMD: That's just a month before the deadline. I assume they can do it and we will monitor their compliance with this commitment. It is their own deadline. We look forward to opening Boracay so that ang ating mga manggagawa na naghihirap dahil sa pagsasara ng kanilang pinagtatrabahuhan ay mabigyang muli ng hanapbuhay.

Q: Considering yung basic problems ng water concessionaires hindi pa nila nareresolba?

SFMD: They should resolve that. Yes, there are two water concessionaires. The suggestion of the chair is they must already divide the island as they have divided, for example, Metro Manila between two concessionaires. That's one of the suggestions.

Q: On meeting the deadline for soft-opening of Boracay

SFMD: We will call the to task if they do not meet their own deadline. That's their own deadline. We are looking forward to the first week of September that the Boracay can re-open. The reforms that are being instituted, certainly, will not be finished by that time but at least, the minimum requirements that meet environmental standards will be in place. On the long-term, we propose and the chair has agreed for a single authority to manage Boracay.

Q: Are you in favor at least initially of putting it under the coverage of agrarian?

SFMD: I don't believe that is feasible. Can you imagine putting topsoil on areas which will be covered by land reforms, so it will be suited for agriculture? Even the representatives of the DAR disowned the undersecretary who said that. There are confusions.

Q: On the demolition of West Cove

SFMD: There is no exception. They said they will fully finish West Cove demolition. West Cove must be demolished because this is the symbol of the abuses done on Boracay. TO project that we are serious in the reforms that we are doing in Boracay, West Cove, which is the mother of all the violators, must be demolished.

Q: Petitioner of the same-sex marriage was advised by the SC to refer the matter to legislators

SFMD: I don't really know. I am not very familiar with the issue. I haven't really examined the views expressed during the hearing.

Q: Consulting the concerned sectors be part of the process?

That's consultation. If there is a bill filed, a committee hearing is a consultation. Necessarily that consultation will happen if a bill is filed.

Q: Si CJ Sereno, kasama sa senatorial line up?

SFMD: We have not discussed that. I have always taken the position that being a candidate is a personal decision of the person.

Q: On tambays

SFMD: Vagrancy is not a crime. I do not know on what basis the arrests are being made. There must be a crime committed. The PNP should know that and they can be liable for arbitrary arrest if they violate the law.

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