Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday filed a bill seeking the creation of a Boracay Development Authority which will manage and develop the world famous Boracay island.
Under Senate Bill No. 17, the Boracay Development Authority will operate, administer, manage and develop the island.
The said body will have 15 members in its board of directors: a representative each from the Province of Aklan, the Municipality of Malay, and the three barangays in the island.
It will also include four representatives from the national government, three from the business and investment sectors, and three from local community organizations and/or non-government organizations.
Drilon noted that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the P25-billion Boracay Medium-Term Action Plan on Monday during a Cabinet meeting.
“The approval of the Boracay Medium-Term Action Plan is a significant development in our desire to restore Boracay as the most beautiful island in Asia,” the senator said.
The action plan’s approval all the more calls for the creation of the Boracay Development Authority, Drilon said, adding that it “can take over the management, development, regulation, protection and maintenance of the island, including its coastal and marine biodiversity.”
The current set-up, he said, has failed to protect Boracay, leading to its degradation.
“It is apparent that Boracay has suffered from the governmental system currently in place. It has failed to provide the island with the protection and preservation that it needs,” he said.
The proposed Boracay Development Authority can “formulate and implement short and long-term plans, issue permits, order the closure or suspension of a development or construction, or the cessation of operations of any going concern” detrimental to the island.
The said body can also have policies in place to ensure environmental pollution control, and construct, acquire, own, lease, operate and maintain the required infrastructure on its own or in partnership with the private sector.
The Boracay Development Authority may have a professional manager as administrator or general manager appointed by the President, the senator said.
“We have made great strides in getting Boracay back on its feet,” Drilon added, noting positive improvements after the island was closed for six months for rehabilitation.
“Creating the Authority would help ensure that the island will continue to exist with a functioning ecosystem, under a workable plan for sustainable development,” Drilon said.
The lawmaker added that Boracay “is a national treasure, the protection of which should be a national concern.” —KG, GMA News