TRUE to its word of becoming a model of sustainability, property giant Megaworld Corporation, through its subsidiary brand Global Estate Resorts Incorporated (Geri), is sustaining the efforts to make Boracay Newcoast a sustainable and environment-friendly development, making it a more must visit attraction in Western Visayas's top island-destination.
Comprising 12 percent of the entire Boracay Island in Aklan province, the 150-hectare Boracay Newcoast is Megaworld's tourism township and integrated lifestyle development in the region.
Of the total area, 60 percent is devoted to green and open spaces, only 40 percent is buildable. Most of these green areas are still untouched and big chunk are comprised of golf course and some protected areas where trees grow.
In terms of sustainability efforts, the property developer has already implemented measures even before the six-month temporary closure of Boracay Island last year.
Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing of Boracay Newcoast, on the sidelines of the Media Fam Tour recently, said the development has its own sewage treatment plant.
Palmares-Fong said they have installed detention and siltation tanks to prevent discoloration and contamination of the beach area.
"We are also using solar-powered and LED street lamps to save power and promote renewable energy," she said, adding that Boracay Newcoast has its own material recovery facility (MRF) in order to segregate and recycle its waste.
To save trees from tangled electric wires and power lines, the world-class resort lifestyle township has underground cabling system. Also, it uses e-jeepney in bringing guests from place to another to reduce carbon footprint and complied with the 25 plus five-meter no build zone rule.
'Cause for a New Coast'
In 2015, barely three years before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the rehabilitation of the island, which he once called a "cesspool," Megaworld already has an initiative to clean-up the coastline of the entire Boracay Island.
Dubbed "Cause for a New Coast," the program is initiated to advocate environmental responsibility among party goers, tourists and even residents. Since then, they have collected almost 20,000 kilograms of trash especially during peak season.
The movement has gathered hotel and resort owners as well as locals for a coastal cleanup activity during sunset as "it is the best way to persuade people to come out and join."
In 2016, Megaworld donated 120 trash bins to different establishments in coordination with the local government unit to be used in the collection, segregation and disposal of the garbage.
"It is not enough but we did our part to be able to clean the island," Palmares-Fong said.
Another direction Boracay Newcoast has set in the bid to make the development sustainable and environment-friendly is minimizing the use of plastic.
Palmares-Fong said the two hotels, the Savoy Hotel Boracay and Belmont Hotel Boracay, are already into reduction of plastic use in their respective operations. In fact, among the best practices they have adapted is using paper straw.
To make it more sustainable, the hotels will eventually implement no use of plastic bottles. Also, it is exploring the option to use bamboo keycards. Through its MRF, the development is making sure that everything that needs to be recycled will be recycled.
"Though we are just starting, the properties are already doing steps to minimize plastics," she added
The Boracay Newcoast covers about a kilometer white sand coastline that stretches within the three coves. To maintain its cleanliness, the property developer has personnel regularly cleaning the beach area.
Also, it implements beach guidelines for tourists to follow. These include strictly prohibiting smoking at the beachfront, and littering of plastics, papers, residues, waste materials, garbage, trash and rubbish in all areas of the beach, among others.
"We are committed to make our development sustainable and a model of sustainable development here in Boracay," Megaworld senior assistant vice president and head of public relations and media affairs Harold Brian Geronimo said, adding that "we have done it first, we continue to be a model to all other developers and resort owners in the island."
Moreover, the tourism township and integrated lifestyle development will be home to homegrown hotel brands. Aside from Savoy and Belmont which are already operational now, the Chancellor Hotel is also up for development.
The entire township will also have its own shop house districts and boutique hotel district fronting the beach area.
On the northern part is the Newcoast Village, an exclusive residential village that won the best resort residential development in 2019 Philippine Property Awards. There, residents will be able to see the mountains of Boracay Island as well as the panoramic view of Sulu, Visayan and Sibuyan seas.
In terms of residential condominium, it already has two developments, the Oceanway Residences and Ocean Garden Villas, composed of seven towers.
The newcoast is positioned to become the new station for Boracay, which will be called the Newcoast station. Eventually, it will also have a commercial area where tourists can buy things they can see in other stations.
Palmares-Fong said it is more walkable but they will retain the exclusivity of the property. Meaning, before the public gets to enter everything will still be checked, everything will undergo security check. Sooner, the township will also have its own transport facility and system, she added.
Aside from the captivating view this natural attraction offers, Boracay Newcoast consistently banks on sustainability which certainly makes the island-destination more attractive. The efforts it sustains are hoped to stir and ripple positive effects towards a greener environment, a more sustainable tourist destination, and a healthier Boracay.