Senate support for long-term rehab, dev’t of Boracay sought

September 25, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 458 views

CAMARINES Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has sought Senate support behind a House-approved measure envisioned to ensure the long-term rehabilitation, development and preservation of Boracay Island, which boasts having one of the world’s best white sand beaches.

“I am appealing to our senators to act soon enough on their own version of the House-passed measure establishing the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) as a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC) that would oversee the rehabilitation of Boracay and ensure the sustainable development, conservation and protection of the natural resources of this isle renowned for its world-class white sand beaches,” Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte issued this appeal to senators after the House passed by a 197-7 vote with zero abstention the consolidated bill (House Bill No. 9826) establishing this GOCC to be known as BIDA.

The substitute bill creating BIDA consolidates Villafuerte’s HB 7280 with other similar measures.

The House committees on local government and on government enterprises and privatization earlier approved the substitute measure.

Villafuerte said that passed by the House, bill would fulfill President Duterte’s call in his 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the Congress to pass a law that will oversee the sound management of the resort island to ensure its environmental sustainability.

As proposed by Villafuerte, the BIDA “shall be developed into a self-sustaining, industrial, commercial, financial and investment center to generate employment opportunities and to attract and promote productive local and foreign investments, taking into account the protection and preservation of the natural resources and biodiversity of the Boracay Island.”

As three-term governor from 2004 to 2013, Villafuerte had transformed CamSur into the Philippines’ top tourist destination by promoting the Caramoan Islands as an adventure destination and the CamSur Watersports Complex as one of the world’s best wake parks and site of world-renown sports event’s such as the Ironman Triathlon, which was held there for three consecutive years.

On his watch at the provincial capitol, Villafuerte transformed the province into the country’s No.1 tourist destination in 2010, besting even Boracay, Metro Manila and Cebu.