THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered local officials of the Boracay Island to explain why the required carrying capacity of tourists exceeded during the Holy Week break.
Undersecretary Epimaco Densing in a news briefing today (Wednesday), confirmed that the office has sent letters to Aklan governor Florencio “Joeben” Miraflores and Acting Malay mayor Floribar Bautista reminding them about the reported violation.
The island is only allowed a carrying capacity of 19,215.
Citing reports, the DILG said there was an evident overcrowding of tourists that exceeded the carrying limit specially on the dates of April 14 and 15.
“Otherwise, magkakaroon ng negatibong epekto sa environment o kalikasan ng Boracay. So kasama sa warning ay kapag patuloy pa rin lumampas ito sa carrying capacity ay maaari na namin silang (LGU officials) bigyan ng show-cause-order para magpaliwanag bakit nila pinahihintulutan na lumampas sa carrying capacity ang mga turistang pumapasok sa Boracay Island,” the DILG official said.
As per Aklan officials, there was an influx of tourists on April 13 with an estimated 12,000 arrivals.
Densing however said there were a large number of entries on April 14 and 15.
“Pero dahil umalis na sila (some tourists) nung April 16 bumagsak na from 22,000 to I think 18,000 nung pagdating nung April 16 ,’’ he added.
The DILG official said that the island’s monitoring team should see to it that the arrivals would not exceed the required 19,000.
Densing warned that if the number still exceeds due to negligence or being done on purpose, local officials will be asked to explain.
“Otherwise, they can be held administratively liable for exceeding the requirements of government particularly, sa carrying capacity ng Boracay Island,’’ Densing pointed out.
The DILG official revealed that at present the government has no plan to adjust the island’s carrying capacity subject to review every three to five years.
Meanwhile, with regards to the traditional “Laboracay” celebration in the island on May 1, Densing maintained that this will not be allowed unless the Department of Tourism changed its earlier stand.
He said that the Laboracay celebration attracts a huge number of people that generates piles of garbage.