No plans yet to allow return of LaBoracay, says DILG exec

The government has no plans yet to allow the return of “LaBoracay” or the Labor Day beach party held in Boracay, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Wednesday.

At the Palace briefing, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said concerned government agencies have cited the harmful effects of the annual beach part to the environment.

“Wala pa po kaming binabalak na ibalik ang ating LaBoracay dahil hindi maganda ang naging epekto nito sa kalikasan ng Boracay, not to mention sa dami ng tao at basura na nage-generate,” he said.

(We have no plans yet to allow the return of LaBoracay because of its effects on the environment of Boracay, not to mention the volume of people and trash it generated.)

The concerned government agencies are the DILG, the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Densing said.

In 2018, the municipal government of Malay stopped granting special permits for big events for LaBoracay, which used to be Boracay’s biggest event with around 14,000 tourists and partygoers each year.

This was in “support of the rehabilitation of Boracay since big events for Labor Day generates a significant increase in both solid and water waste,” the local government said.

Capacity

Meanwhile, Densing said the DILG already sent a letter to acting Malay Mayor Bautista and Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores reminding them to observe the carrying capacity of Boracay.

This was after the DOT called on authorities to address the breach of the carrying capacity of the island during the Holy Week.

“Nagpalabas na po kami ng sulat kay Governor Miraflores at Mayor Bautista na pinaalalahanan sila na siguraduhin na hindi lalampas sa carrying capacity ang mga papasok sa Boracay,” Densing said.

(We already issued a letter to Governor Miraflores at Mayor Bautista reminding them to ensure that the number of tourists entering Boracay will not exceed the carrying capacity.)

If the local officials again fail to enforce the limit, Densing said they would receive a show cause order.

Based on the Malay Tourism Office’s report to the DOT, the number of tourists on the island hit 21,252 on April 14 (Maundy Thursday) and 22,519 on April 15 (Good Friday) — far beyond the recommended daily threshold of around 19,000 tourists.

According to Densing, the officials explained that around 12,000 tourists who arrived on April 12 stayed on the island on the succeeding days. The number was carried over on April 14 and 15.

On April 16, the number of tourists on the island was at P18,000, he added. –KBK, GMA News

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