SENATORS are asking the national government to step into the environmental problems plaguing Boracay.
“I think it’s about time the DOT should step in and get involved, and national government,” said Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri in an inquiry on Friday into the environmental concerns of the island dubbed as the “jewel of the tourism industry.”
DOT is the Department of Tourism.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, echoed Zubiri and cited Boracay’s “very significant” contribution of bringing in one-third of the country’s six million tourists.
The senators are in Boracay for an ocular inspection of the island that President Rodrigo Duterte had described as a “cesspool” as he ordered a clean-up of the world-renowned resort in six months or face permanent closure.
When asked by Senator Nancy Binay if the DOT had solutions to the environmental woes of Boracay, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the President told her to leave it to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Teo added that Boracay had been “divorced” from the DOT since 1991, with the management of its tourism industry left to local government units (LGUs).
“Boracay was divorced from us in 1991, and was given to its local government units, not DOT, and the local government unit now handles the tourism master plan,” Teo said during the inquiry.
Teo said that a Boracay Island Development Authority would be established once the island-resort was over its environmental woes.
Teo said that in 2017 alone, Boracay earned P56 billion from its two million tourists. LANCE LIBRORANIA