Boracay beckons again, task force says

Boracay has been restored to 80 percent of its pristine beauty, the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force said Tuesday, adding the land reform packages on the island will be distributed before Christmas.

Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the inter-agency body was “ready to open” the famous tourist spot to the public by Friday as they had already placed safeguards on the island.

He said they were optimistic and confident that they had addressed the major environmental problems on Boracay.

READ: Boracay ready to reopen; government orders casino closure

“Issues were already resolved by the inter-agency. Although we can say that we’re not yet 100-percent complete, we’re going to that direction,” Leones said. 

“At least we can say that we are now 80 percent restoring the pristine beauty and original situation of Boracay.”

Meanwhile, after its six months closure, Boracay will once again open its doors to the tourism industry on Oct. 26, and with it the improved transportation services to and from the island.

Boracay may be one distant nook in the Visayas, but it will now become easier to reach thanks to the increasingly organized system of transportation in Kalibo and Caticlan.

Moreover, Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines and its partner Mabuhay Maritime Express on Tuesday launched a ferry service to help the government promote the newly rehabilitated Boracay.

“Philippine Airlines and subsidiary Mabuhay Maritime Express [MME] Transport Corporation have been collaborating since 2016 to establish seamless air, land and sea connectivity for passengers whose final destination is the world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan,” said PAL corporate communications department chief and spokeswoman Maria Cielo Villaluna.

Asked when the government will distribute land to the indigenous peoples on Boracay, Leones said it would happen before Christmas. 

“The instruction of the President is to fast-track it. In fact, there is a presidential directive received by our office directing us to facilitate the distribution of land,” Leones said. 

He said both the DENR and DAR had been closely coordinating to facilitate the land redistribution.

“Based on our records, the DENR has already transferred the approximately eight hectares of land to the DAR for distribution. But DAR is now preparing tenurial instruments like Certificate of Land Ownership Agreement,” Leones said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday vowed to visit Boracay to distribute land to the natives. With Eric Apolonio and Joel E. Zurbano

READ: Boracay reopens for dry run from Oct. 15-25

Topics: Boracay , Boracay Inter-agency Task Force , Jonas Leones , Philippine Airlines , Mabuhay Maritime Express
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