Press Release
October 10, 2018

Govt must review envi policy design and implementation

With 17 days to go until Boracay's soft opening, Sen. Nancy Binay today called on the government agencies in-charge of Boracay rehabilitation and the Local Government of Malay to conduct training for frontline staff of tourist establishments in the island.

According to Binay, the trainings should be aimed at equipping staff with adequate knowledge so they can inform tourists on the "do's and don'ts" in the island.

She added that besides frontline staff, dive masters, ground and ferry crew, drivers, boatmen, transport staff and other personnel at the island's entry points should also be trained.

"I hope the DENR and LGU of Malay start organizing towards this end. Maliit lang na bagay ito, but I think it would go a long way in making sure tourists are aware of the things that are allowed or prohibited," said Binay.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said only 25 resorts have secured all the permits necessary to operate in time for the soft reopening of Boracay on October 26.

Government will also limit daily tourist entrance to 6,405, who are presumed to stay only for 2 nights and 3 days. Ibiza-like parties on the island will likewise be banned and will strictly implement the "no alcohol, no cigarettes, no drugs" policy.

Plastic straws, bags, and styrofoams will be banned. Establishments will also be encouraged to use environment-friendly alternatives for toiletries.

"Baka pwede ring i-explore na kasabay ng access cards or bracelets na ibibigay sa mga papasok na turista ay magkaroon na rin sila ng briefing complemented by posters, AVPs, and other information materials similar to the 'Magic Eyes' campaign in Thailand," Binay added.

"Magic Eyes" is a unique environmental campaign designed with three objectives: (1) to persuade the public to stop littering and to throw garbage into correct trash bins; (2) to train people to pick up any trash they see in order to completely eliminate trash in public spaces; and (3) to raise awareness broader environmental issues.

The senator likewise noted that the government must review current environmental policy designs and how these are implemented in the local level.

"Perhaps we can adopt the Intramuros template in creating an ad-hoc body to oversee and regulate all developments in the island para mapangalagaan ang environmental integrity ng Boracay. Second, is to come up with a land-use management framework that would appropriately fit the uniqueness of the island supported with innovative management techniques necessary for governing Boracay as a protected landscape," she pointed out.

Binay said that the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force could include the seminar in its agenda similar environmental objectives for the dry run for the opening, which starts on October 15.

The local tourists who will participate in the dry run could then provide inputs on how to make the information drive for tourists more effective, she added.

She also expressed hope that such practice would be institutionalized and even replicated in other tourist destinations across the country.

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