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Businesses heeding 30-meter beach easement rule in Boracay protest plan to let bar open in the middle of the water

ILOILO CITY—Business operators and other stakeholders in Boracay Island are up in arms over the planned operation of a bar that would not only violate a rule for establishments to be at least 30 meters away from the beach but would be right smack in the middle of the water.

In a letter to the Boracay Inter-Agency Management Group (BIARMG), officials of the Boracay Foundation Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Boracay, Compliance Association of Boracay and Pollution Control Officers of Boracay said they were protesting the planned opening of Tawhai Boracay, a floating bar and restaurant.

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They said in the letter that it was “unjust” to allow the operation of the new venture when businesses on the island are required to keep a 30-meter distance from the beach and are prohibited from placing beach beds or allowing drinking and eating on the coast.

“We the stakeholders have sacrificed tremendously to comply earnestly with the new rules and regulations,” said the letter.

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“We have consistently placed the wellbeing of our community and our environment, to sustain and  maintain the beauty of the island,” the letter added.

The INQUIRER tried to reach Tawhai Boracay through its Facebook page but received no response.

The island was closed for six months from April 26 to October 25, 2018 to undergo rehabilitation. Businesses incurred losses running into hundreds of millions of pesos and tens of thousands of workers were dislocated.

The leaders of the business groups and stakeholders said “providing Tawhai Boracay its license to operate and supporting its existence in no uncertain terms undermine all of these efforts with one blow.”

Natividad Bernardino, BIARMG general manager, said Tawhai Boracay applied for permits to operate but these have not been granted by the

BIARM including the Malay local government unit.

But according to its Facebook page, Tawhai Boracay is set to operate this month with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Tickets would include lunch buffet and drinks.

Edited by TSB

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TAGS: beach, Boracay, easement rule, floating bar, Rehabilitation
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