Binay wants Boracay visitor capacity discussed before its reopening


Boracay residents

The Department of Labor and Employment have hired some Boracay resident to help clean up the resort island’s beaches. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Published: 7:13 p.m., July 16, 2018 | Updated: 10:51 p.m., July 16, 2018

Sen. Nancy Binay on Monday pressed officials to determine the carrying capacity of Boracay before reopening the world-famous island to visitors.

In a hearing on the island’s closure, Binay said the officials should set the guidelines on how many visitors could be accommodated in Boracay so that efforts to rehabilitate the island would not go to waste.

The final study on Boracay’s carrying capacity is set to come out in August, according to Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

“When the study comes out, and it shows that only X number could be accommodated, we should follow and only allow that number to come to Boracay,” Binay told reporters.

Initial studies showed that the number of people in Boracay at any given time was more than what the island could carry.

Bighani Manipula, officer in charge of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, said a study conducted earlier this year showed that Boracay’s average carrying capacity was 11,222.

Densing said an earlier study also showed that Boracay had a carrying capacity of 35,000. During peak season, this reaches 110,000, he said.

Binay said Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources would have to decide to whom they would open the island.

“Open for everybody? Open for the domestic market only? Or open only for Aklan residents?” she said. “What are the parameters of its opening?”

According to Binay, a major problem has been the lack of communication between the government and those affected by the closure of the island.

“So sana, after this hearing, they should start talking,” she said. –With a report from Daphnie Beltran / INQUIRER.net intern



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