SPECKS OF LIFE: Boracay’s closure has benefits

The closure of Boracay will tilt in favor of the many, instead of just those selected few who are today making hay in the resort island.

Sure, so many will lose jobs and income temporarily but the benefits they will reap when Boracay re-opens portend of so much more.

Foreign tourists booked for Boracay will still come to the country but will look for other interesting places to visit to spend summer.

They will discover cheaper and even more relaxing resorts and beaches because we have so many to offer.

For instance, they can go to Davao and its neighboring provinces for fun, adventure and pleasure galore. They can also drive down to Glan, Sarangani where they will be drowned by the Sarangans’ native distinct hospitality, cheap and fresh seafood, deep see snorkel and scuba diving, fresh air, quiet environment and expect so much more thrill and excitement as they hike around mountain trails and neighboring areas.

We should all be properly advised of the 2008 Supreme Court decision that stated categorically that Boracay is owned by the State.

Now, how come hordes of business prospectors and locators were able to get business permits and put up concrete structures in Boracay as if the land there were up for sale and lease with a guarnatee?

Was the LGU (Malay) in cahoots or did the officials of the municipality that had jurisdiction over Boracay ignore the SC decision because there was so much in it they could not ignore?

With PRRD’s recent closure pronouncement, everything must have to go. The violators and those who benefitted must be brought to court, including those who chose to look the other way.

The President is upholding the law and has declared Boracay island a land reform area for which farmers and those deserving must be awarded lands for their own use.

This development is very instructive because previously former Pres. GMA elevated a case to the SC asking for clarification regarding ownership of lands in Boracay and for which the SC declared it as state property and thus inalienable.

Businesses engaged in tourism sprouted like mushrooms which contributed to the degradation of the island’s environmental cover. Sanitation and disposal of solid and water wastes did not comply with the law and virtually made the resort a “cesspool,” borrowing Duterte’s description of the situation.

 

No casino, as bruited about, is going to be built in Boracay. Duterte himself made that known.

Political opponents, notably, the discredited Sen. Trillanes has made a big issue out of the casino rumors.

But Duterte’s prompt public announcement that he is against the casino idea put a closure to it. Period.

Filipinos must ably learn from Phuket, Thailand which was also closed to tourists for more than a year to “rehabilitate and re-invigorate.”

Better to bite the bullet now than to aggravate and make matters worse, if not worst.

Boracay is a gem and the government must treasure it like it should be.

No ifs and buts about that.

With Boracay’s temporary closure, I am certain that resorts around the country wishing to attract more foreign and domestic clients and visitors will now improve and upgrade their facilities to industry standards.

Tourism can be a primary source of revenue that can replace the OFW contribution in the long term.

I do believe that the government should make a major shift to tourism as another venue for livelihood and income generation. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) Heb. 10:35: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!