The Presidential Task Force composed of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with the local government unit of Malay and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), lauds several DOT-accredited enterprises which have voluntarily cleaned the beach area fronting their establishments and cleared structures in support of the 25 plus 5 meter easement regulation in the island of Boracay.
Boracay Island Philippines
The DOT Region VI office reported that among those which have complied are the Ambassador in Paradise and Seawind Beach Resort, both high-end resorts located at Brgy. Balabag. Ambassador in Paradise was the first resort to implement the clearing of the seawall built in front of the establishment that encroaches the easement. The clearing was made after the resort management attended the Consultation with the Business Cluster spearheaded by DOT Region VI last 17 January 2013, in which representatives of tourism establishments were advised to tear down the said structures to protect the area from further damage caused by sand erosions during south monsoon season.
Other establishments located at Sitio Mangayad in Brgy. Balabag such as The Mandarin de Boracay Resort, Le Soleil de Boracay Beach Resort, Boracay Uptown, Chez de Paris Restaurant, and Nigi Nigi Nu Noos Resort also did their share by relocating fish bars and seafood display tables inside their respective establishments to allot space for the walkways.
Early this year, the task force announced that several establishments were found to be not complying with the redevelopment plans for Boracay and were issued notices to act on the plan by the end of March. However, since the volume of tourists had peaked as early as February and continues to do so, the deadline was extended until after the summer season.
The government task force enjoins the rest of the establishments concerned to comply with the voluntary redevelopment directive as soon as possible. The order pertains to the illegal structures, including embankments to prevent floods. The community was assured of an upcoming flood control project that will start soon and be completed within the year.
“With the rise of tourism arrivals comes a heightened sense of protection and preservation of our natural resources. I am thankful that we already have the support of several stakeholders who understand the importance of sustainability. With the many international accolades the country is getting at the present, we cannot be complacent. We have just managed to breach the 1M visitor arrival mark in the first quarter leading towards our 5 million target this year.
We can only be confident when we have the support of all stakeholders beyond Boracay in protecting the tourism assets in their respective destinations. This is definitely part of the more fun campaign, that is keeping the hosts proud and making sure our visitors are satisfied” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.