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The Philippines => Philippine Business News => Topic started by: MIKELIGALIG.com on March 07, 2018, 05:54:39 AM

Title: State of Calamity for Boracay?
Post by: MIKELIGALIG.com on March 07, 2018, 05:54:39 AM
REP. MICHAEL “MIKEE” L. ROMERO, Ph. D.
1-PACMAN Party-list
Assistant Majority Leader
Member, Aquaculture & Fisheries Resources, Public Information and

6 other Committees Twitter: @MikeeRomeroPhD

REP. MIKEE ROMERO SUPPORTS PRES. DUTERTE ON BORACAY STATE OF CALAMITY DECLARATION

I support the declaration of a state of calamity in Boracay. DENR has served notice on hundreds of establishments for various environmental protection and sanitation violations.

This is indicative of the magnitude of the problem at hand. While on the surface it would appear that it is business as usual for many Boracay establishments, the experts of the DENR and DOT know better.

It has taken no less than President Duterte himself to finally shock the Boracay local governments and the island's tourism into a reality check. Will we have to wait until hundreds of tourists get sick when they ingest contaminated waters of Boracay? The time for action, indeed, is now.

The state of calamity declaration will enable the DOT, LGUs, and DENR to tap national and local calamity funds.

This is also an opportunity to take some steps to assure the sustainability of Boracay as the country's premiere tourist destination.

The tourism industry and local governments in Boracay have long neglected sustainability concerns the DENR, environmentalists, and researchers have been raising for years now.

IMMEDIATE STEPS:

·            Scientific conduct of water testing with appropriate audit controls;

·            Identification of the specific coastal and inland areas of Boracay where water contamination is most hazardous to least problematic;

·            Cordoning off of the medium and high-risk areas while keeping open to tourists the low-risk and minimal risk areas;

·            Mobilization of barangays and residents for massive and regular coastal clean-up and inland waste segregation—using the work for pay scheme.

·            Formation and deployment of multisectoral task force, including volunteers from environment groups and local resident, working together in cooperation and common purpose; and

·            Immediate deployment of portable water purification systems to medium-risk and high risk areas.

MEDIUM-TERM MEASURES:

·            Approve sewerage infrastructure programs for the coastal towns and inland barangays of Boracay;

·            Capability-upgrading for LGUs and tourism establishments in Boracay on sanitation and sustainable development program implementation;

·            Audit and upgrading (if necessary) of Boracay health facilities for capability to respond to water-borne diseases;

·            Declare parts of Boracay as protected areas; and

·            Include in the 2019 budget the necessary provisions for Boracay's environmental and sustainable development.

LONG-TERM RESPONSE: 

·            Install/build the Boracay sewerage and sanitation system in segments or phases starting in late 2018/2019. Complete the system in two to three years; and

·            Build the needed support systems, including roads and transport facilities to improve Boracay as the country's premiere tourist destination.

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