… and should it? Discussion upon discussion has already occurred and Boracay businesses and residents would like to know.
Times here are extremely tough, and businesses have closed their doors, some for good. So the brave ones who have remained opened need to see what changes, if any, are going to be implemented, and if so, when?
After an eternity of Boracay suffering from poor governance, change appears to be on the horizon. And if and when it does happen, let’s hope and pray that it comes into play with complete changes for the better.
There appears to be a lot of opposition from different corners to BIDA (Boracay Island Development Authority), but it could possibly be the best thing that’s happened to the Island – but only if it operates transparently and properly. No more political dynasties running the place might make a welcome change. But only if they’re replaced with something that’s better.
What with BIDA being an independent body, will there be any place for governance on Boracay from bodies such as the LGU (Local Government Authority) and SB (Sangguniang Bayan)? Although many here still support their efforts, will they still have any say in what goes on anymore – if they do remain, what role should or could they still play? The Island community would like to know.
And what about the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) governance? For instance, we’ve been waiting an awfully long time for them to approve the saliva tests (from what I’m led to believe this is what’s needed to replace the unpopular and costly swab tests). Tourism needs a boost like this, desperately so. Will the IATF still have a role?
The DOT (Department of Tourism) recently advised Island businesses to cut their prices to help attract tourists back to Boracay. Businesses responded; you can now get a good resort room for P1,000 per night and many restaurants have cut back on their menus and slashed prices. Yet, the official fee for tourists entering the Island has just been raised from P75.00 to P300.00. C’mon! To whomever, is that sending out the right message? And will this money go to BIDA or the LGU in the future? Local businesses are trying their best, but they need help.
What will happen to the different barangays in Boracay? Should we assume they won’t receive any more LGU funding? If not, what will become of them under BIDA?
Will BIDA bring some closure to the 25+5 easement and forestry land disputes? Many people have paid huge amounts of taxes over the years plus received DENR (Department of Environment & Natural Resources) permits, only to see the same department issue demolition orders on the same properties.
Also, will there still be a place for some of the other auxiliary services like the MAP (Malay Auxiliary Police), which our local Boracay police did an exemplary job of before their introduction? What’s the plan for them?
Then there are the other organizations like the MSBOAI (Malay Sailing Boat Owners Association, Inc.) that rule over the paraws operating locally or from the mainland. Ask any Boracay paraw owner what their views on this are.
If they do take over, let’s hope that BIDA quickly solves the ongoing ECOS (Sanitary Landfill and Waste Management Corp) farcical garbage financing and collection situation.
Along, of course, with getting to the bottom of the debacle of alleged illegal charges for tourists for using the beachfront pontoons last year.
There are lots of problems like these that could be put right if BIDA has the right officers in place and hit the ground running.
If they don’t, people will ask why the changes have occurred and if they were necessary, especially since, as stated above, there is already a lot of critical opposition waiting in the wings to pounce.
Let’s hope that if BIDA does assume control that they plan everything properly and get it right the first time of asking.
It’s a big ask – but…Boracay is waiting!