House bill proposes creation of Boracay Island Council
AKLAN, Philippines – A proposed legislation aimed to the create a Boracay Island Council to handle and oversee the management and development of the country’s prime tourist destination.
House Bill No. 4175, authored by Aklan 2nd District Representative Teodorico Haresco Jr, seeks to regulate the establishment, operation, and maintenance of utilities, activities and infrastructure in Boracay Island.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources on September 3.
“Boracay indeed is reforming and with the continuous rehabilitation, lasting changes must be implemented. The Boracay Island Council will take over the management, development, regulation, protection and maintenance of the island,” Haresco said in promoting the bill.
The island reopened to tourists on October last year after a six-month closure and rehabilitation. (READ: Boracay: Paradise reborn?)
Who are part of it? Under the proposed measure, the Boracay Island Council will be under the Office of the President and will be composed of secretaries of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Other council members are administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, director of the Land Management Bureau, administrator of Land Registration Authority, chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples as well as representatives of the province of Aklan, local community organizations and the private sector.
What would it do? The bill also mandates the council to formulate short-term and long-term strategies for sustainable development, environment protection, social development and infrastructure development and to formulate and implement innovative management techniques and strategies, conduct public consultations and raise public awareness on the protection, development and optimum utilisation of coastal, marine and fisheries resources.
In addition, the council is also directed to order the closure or suspension of any development or construction, file criminal charges against violators and issue cease and desist order for any act or omission that violates the “Act Creating the Boracay Island Council”.
Haresco said all utilization and development should strictly comply with the land use plan approved by the Boracay Island Council and the requirements imposed by existing environmental rules, regulations and other issuances. – Rappler.com