BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
The Sangguniang Bayan of Malay, Aklan is asking the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) to allow huge fireworks celebration on New Year’s Eve in Boracay Island.
Town councilor Maylyn Aguirre-Graf appealed to BIARMG manager Natividad Bernandino for fireworks show from 11:30 p.m. on December 31, 2019 to 12:30 a.m. on January 1, 2020.
“There are guests with hotel bookings and they are expecting to watch the fireworks display in the island,” Graf added.
Before the Boracay rehabilitation, the island is well known as one of the best places for the festive and traditional holidays especially on New Year and Christmas with lots of thrilling countdown parties and stupendous music on White Beach area.
The Boracay task force, however, identified the fireworks display after 9 p.m. everyday as one of the many activities restricted during the rehabilitation phase. These include the ban on beach parties, drinking and smoking on the beaches and public places.
The municipal government of Malay also asked the Boracay task force last year to lift the ban on fireworks display, a tradition for thousands of revelers from different parts of the world to welcome the New Year in the tropical island.
But, the fireworks ban of Boracay task force remained in place, claiming it would disturb the breeding and mating sites of bats and the Boracay environs.
The use of fireworks for New Year countdowns was allowed only by the municipal government of Malay within a reasonable distance from the shoreline of mainland Malay.
Councilor Dante Pagsuguiron also supported the call to allow fireworks display in capping the New Year celebrations with a bang in Boracay Island.
Pagsuguiron said Boracay Island celebrated the New Year with great fireworks lighting up the sky at the stroke of midnight before the six month temporary closure.