Legarda Tells French Senators: Boracay Rehab Example of Political Will

March 3, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda shared with visiting French senators the government’s successful efforts to rehabilitate the island of Boracay, stressing that political will to implement laws was key to its success.

On behalf of the Philippine Senate, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and President and Founding Member of the Philippines-France Parliamentary Association, hosted a delegation of French senators in Boracay on March 2. The French delegation was composed of Senators Jacky Deromedi, Simon Sutour, Philippe Mouiller, and Jerome Durain.

“I am proud to share with fellow parliamentarians from France the successful story of the rehabilitation of one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations. The story of Boracay Island is an example of how our laws are effective if leaders in the Executive have the political will to implement what we legislate,” said Legarda.

The French senators were briefed by Boracay Inter-agency Rehabilitation Management Group General Manager Natividad Bernardino, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Asec. Manuel Felix, and Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec. Arturo Boncato on the changes that were implemented for the 6-month intensive rehabilitation of the island last year.

Legarda said that among the steps taken for the Boracay Island rehabilitation include water quality testing and improvement, removal of structures, banning of pets and smoking, banning of single-use plastic and plastic bottles, proper disposal of liquid and solid waste, mangrove and seagrass reforestation, the improvement of biodiversity and wetlands, implementation of carrying capacity, and implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, which Legarda authored.

“Boracay’s successful rehabilitation is an example of political will, strong leadership, and cooperation among stakeholders. It is still a work in progress and much still has to be done, but it is a good start. Vigilance in the implementation of environmental laws is important,” said Legarda.

“Our government is taking action to do the same in other beach and tourist destinations in the country, including the Manila Bay. Aside from the strict enforcement of our environmental laws, we also need everyone’s cooperation. There needs to be a change in the mindset of our citizens. We must all realize the importance of sustainable development and embrace our responsibility as stewards of our natural resources,” Legarda concluded.