Boracay rehabilitation: A lesson of neglect, political will

The six-month intensive rehabilitation of Boracay Island resort is a lesson of political will, as exhibited by President Rodrigo Duterte. It is also a lesson of neglect, misconduct by responsible persons in office, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Duterte once branded Boracay as a “cesspool” due to its polluted waters and other environmental problems brought about by long years of neglect and mismanaged sewerage system.

“The cesspool that was Boracay would not have happened if political will was exhibited by those in authority and if only officials of the island paradise, as well as the stakeholders, operated following the law and the rules and regulations of pertinent government agencies,” Panelo said.

Known for its powdery white sand, the country’s most popular tourist destination reopened on Friday after six months of rehabilitation that began on April 26.

The Boracay inter-agency task force promised to strengthen the implementation of environmental ordinances to maintain the present pristine beauty of the island.

While full rehabilitation of Boracay is expected to be completed within six months to one year, the task force said 80 percent of the island’s beauty has been restored.

“It has to take the strong and decisive leadership of the President to put things in order and we should all learn from these lessons so that Boracay will become an attraction, not only in this country but in the world,” Panelo said.

Panelo said President Duterte was satisfied with the results of the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, commending everyone who was involved, particularly the inter-agency task force for their patience and cooperation.

“We commend the different departments for the evolution and development of Boracay, as well as the patience and cooperation of everyone,” Panelo said. (Source: Jelly Musico, PNA)