Task force to present Boracay master plan

By Inquirer.net March 11,2018

ILOILO CITY — An inter-agency task force will present on Thursday, March 15, a comprehensive master plan for Boracay Island as part of efforts to crack down on violations of environmental laws in the country’s prime tourist destination.

Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre, spokesperson of the Department of Tourism, said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año will also meet and discuss the masterplan with architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr.

Alegre said the inter-agency task force plans to adopt and expand the proposed masterplan for the island designed by Palafox.

The comprehensive plan would include addressing environmental problems and development activities aimed at decongesting the 1,032-hectare island which last year attracted more than two million tourists.

The Malay municipal government in Aklan which governs Boracay Island last year signed a memorandum of agreement with Palafox for the formulation of an updated master development plan.

Various development plans have been designed by various agencies for the island, but these have not been comprehensively implemented resulting in unregulated development and worsening environmental and other problems.

Alegre said the plan would cover not only the six months that President Rodrigo Duterte has given as a deadline to address the island’s problems but also strategic measures to ensure sustainable tourism in Boracay.

The plan will be presented in a multisectoral workshop in Boracay in mid-April to be organized by the Department of Tourism.

Alegre said the inter-agency task force would still recommend to the President the declaration of a state of calamity in Boracay which would be followed by the shutdown of tourism activities there.

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