ON OCTOBER 6, Boracay island, after undergoing rehabilitation, was opened to the public. The rehabilitation, which took the government six months to clean, put things in place and to let the island “breathe” was made after President Rodrigo Duterte branded the world-famous island resort as cesspool.
A day after the reopening of Boracay, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) aired its lamentations over some trash that were found a beach particularly in a crevice of a rock formation at Station 1.
The pieces of trash found were several plastic packaging, a plastic bottle of soft drink and a plastic water bottle. All of the same are non-biodegradable and are not for good for the environment particularly on the pristine waters of Boracay.
The government exerted massive considerable efforts backed-up by political will in closing and cleaning the island resort. A lot of business establishments, employment and income-generating opportunities were sacrificed with the closure.
The sole reason for the closure is massive exploitation of the island and a day after the end of the rehabilitation is again the exploitation because of the said pieces of trash indiscriminately left by tourists. People just never learn.
Three days after its post clean-up opening, meanwhile came a high number of tourists trooping the island. This makes local and transient residents worry on the possible return of garbage disposal problem of the island which might lead to its closure and rehabilitation again.
Meanwhile, piles of uncollected trash were also observed near the shops in the island, a manifestation that trash is really a problem.
It seems that the island should “strictly” observe some cleanliness measures in order to maintain its recent upkeep. The island is our pride and it is one of the tourism show window of the country. With the number of foreign tourists flocking to Boracay, we need to show them that we really care for the environment and that we have the capacity to maintain the cleanliness of such tourist destinations.
In addition to the up keeping made by the government, stricter penalties for irresponsible trash disposal should be implemented where no one can be above such impositions, local or foreign tourists alike.
Prior to its shutdown, the island generates more than 70 tons of trash daily. The number of tourists may be the culprit to the trash, but then, tourists and residents should be “educated” on the proper disposal of such.
Recycling can also be a good measure to minimize trash with plastics used for packages be totally banned. Water bottles can be replaced by refillable water bottles for the use of people going there.
We had proven that the government is serious about Boracay’s garbage problem. Tourists and residents then should also be serious about the problem the island has suffered.
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