A little over two months since Boracay was closed on April 26, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the lead government agency in charge of the island’s rehabilitation, released a video to update the public on the progress of the rehabilitation.
Among others, the video provided a brief background about the closure of Boracay. To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 475 that ordered the six-month closure and put Boracay under a state of calamity due to various environmental issues that face the island, from wastes to sewage problems that turned it into a “cesspool”.
The latest video clips show various beach areas in Boracay (Puka, Bulabog and White Beach), as well as two of the nine or 12 wetlands in the island and diversion road repair in Bulabog. Some residents were also interviewed for the video update.
One resident waxed sentimental about how simple life was on the island before it became a popular tourist destination. Another one was thankful that the environmental problems of Boracay reached Malacanang and it is being rehabilitated now.
This is the video presentation on Boracay rehabilitation that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu showed to President Rodrigo Duterte during DENR’s 31st founding anniversary celebration on July 4: DENR Update on Boracay Rehabilitation
According to DENR and other members of the interagency task force – the Department of Tourism (DoT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the rehabilitation is well ahead of schedule. A ‘soft opening’ of the island to a limited number of tourists is thus being discussed, before the full opening scheduled on October 26.
Since the rehabilitation progress is on track, the task force cited there is no need to extend the closure to one year as earlier recommended. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), 64% of Filipino adults agreed with the government’s recommendation to close the entire island of Boracay to tourists for one year for full rehabilitation.
According to SWS, 38% answered strongly agree and 26% somewhat agree to the question, “Recently, the DENR, DILG, and DOT recommended the closure of the entire island of Boracay to tourists for one year in order to begin the full rehabilitation of the island. Do you agree or disagree with this recommendation of the DENR, DILG, and DOT?” 64% say the closure would help rehabilitate the nature in the island and 61% say the closure would help increase the number of tourists in the future.
Are you excited for Boracay to reopen? What do you think of the rehabilitation efforts?