Recapturing the grandeur of being a Garden of Eden in the Philippines is among the thrusts of the Department of Tourism for Boracay. And it urges the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to join its restorative efforts at saving the natural paradisiacal environment of the tropical beach resort island.
The Department of Tourism feels that so much development, in terms of real estate and resorts, has been set up in the islands more than is necessary and more than could be monitored. Consequently, a number of resorts and hotels in Boracay violate numerous building laws and local ordinances where construction, health, environment, and commerce are concerned.
Among urgent concerns, according to the Department of Tourism, is the sewer system. There appears to be no systematic drainage system foreseeing future expansions and providing room for adjustments so that some establishments in Boracay today cannot set up their plumbing lines and systems without passing through other properties and infringing on them.
In 2006 the Department of Tourism, through the Philippine Tourism Authority, was given by the Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo jurisdiction over Boracay to remedy the situation. The Department of Tourism-PTA now coordinates with the local Aklan government in this regard. The PTA scope of authority over Boracay includes zoning, ecology, and supervision of tourist belts in the island, having been declared in 2005 by the president a special tourism zone.
The Department of Tourism-PTA has been in charge of facilitating any local activity relating to tourism and monitoring the same, including overall tourism information, information on transportation rates and schedules, other destinations in the island, accommodations, visa requirements, and construction projects relating to Boracay tourism.
The Department of Tourism wants a temporary halt of building permit issuance by the Aklan local government pending settlement of the present Boracay tourism problems. The present infrastructure debacle should be checked and remedied to arrest the growing trend towards an unsystematic, piece meal approach to progress. The Department of Tourism also urged the DENR to invest in the efforts to restore the entire Boracay island back to its original image.
The DENR, in turn, always envisions an environment-friendly progress, especially in tourism. The present thrust in attracting foreign investments is often also geared towards the development of tourism infrastructure like hotel and resorts. But some sectors feel that such development strategy, especially in Boracay, should be carefully weighed with concerns for ecology protection, as the Department of Tourism is presently doing in partner with the DENR.