Angara calls for unity to save Boracay
“We have to get our acts together.”
This was the challenge of Senator Sonny Angara on Wednesday, as he joined the call of the government to fast-track the rehabilitation of “pollution-challenged” Boracay island to sustain the country’s tourism growth.
“Boracay attracts two million tourists every year and brings in more than P50 billion in annual revenues. It’s no less named as world’s best island,” Angara said in a statement.
“Huwag naman sana nating sayangin ito dahil lamang may ilang establisimyento na hindi nakasusunod sa mga regulasyon ng gobyerno,” he added.
(Let’s not put this into waste just because there had been a few establishments that do not conform to the government regulation.)
Citing reports from the Department of Tourism (DOT), the senator said that out of the 150 business establishments recently inspected by the government, only 25 were connected to the sewage line, while a number of them were draining their sewage directly into the sea.
The senator urged government agencies and local officials to strictly implement existing environmental laws and local ordinances, and penalize erring establishments.
He, however, expressed concern over the possible closure of Boracay if its environmental problems continue to escalate.
“Tourism industry is a major economic driver and job generator for the country. Definitely, its closure will have an adverse impact on its locals who depend on the island’s tourism for their livelihood. Kung kaya huwag na nating hintayin na tuluyan itong ipasara dahil sa ating kapabayaan,” Angara said.
(So, let’s not wait for this island to be totally closed because of our negligence.)
The lawmaker has called on stakeholders to take advantage of the Republic Act 10771 or the Green Jobs Law which incentivizes the creation of jobs that contribute substantially to the preservation and restoration of the environment and natural resources.
Under the measure, which Angara sponsored, green jobs refer to jobs that help “protect ecosystems and biodiversity, and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.”
“Green jobs can help preserve the pristine waters and powdery white sand of Boracay. Bukod sa disenteng trabaho, makatutulong pa ito sa rehabilitasyon ng isla,” he said. /jpv
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