Boracay stakeholders file petition vs gov’t reclamation project | Inquirer News

Boracay stakeholders file petition vs gov’t reclamation project

MANILA, Philippines—A group of Boracay business owners on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to stop an ambitious P1-billion reclamation project of the Aklan provincial government which they claimed would destroy the beauty of the world famous resort island.

In a petition for a temporary environmental protection order, the Boracay Foundation Inc. argued that the 40-hectare reclamation project on the shores of Barangay (village) Caticlan, Malay town would kill the already fragile coral reefs in the area and cause damage to Boracay’s powdery white sand beaches.

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The BFI also asked to stop the province of Aklan represented by Governor Carlito S. Marquez “to cease and desist from conducting reclamation activities along the coastline of Boracay.

“This project is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” lawyer Joel Butuyan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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The petitioners alleged that the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) obtained by the provincial government of Aklan was acquired despite the circumvention of  requirements set under the law such as the submission of “programmatic” impact assessment studies.

The ECC covers the first phase of the project consisting of 2.64 hectares adjacent to the Caticlan and Boracay Jetty Port. The Jetty Port is the gateway from mainland Aklan to Boracay which is separated by a narrow strait of water.

The foundation said there was no necessity for a reclamation project in the area and that, based on a study conducted by the University of the Philippines marine biologists, the reclamation project would likely affect the current and tide flows in the area and may cause further erosion of the sands in Boracay.

Loubelle B. Cann, BFI president, accused Aklan elected officials of arbitrarily implementing the project without the consent of the residents, business groups and other stakeholders.

“What they did was just a project presentation. The (Aklan provincial government) did not seek our approval. They did not even present a comprehensive scientific study of the project,” Cann lamented.

Aside from the provincial government, named respondents in the case were the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau.

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TAGS: Boracay, environment, Government, reclamation project, Toursim
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