THE looming closure of Boracay should be a wake-up call to Filipinos to protect and preserve the country’s coastlines and marine resources.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas states as he pushes for the approval of a measure that seeks to increase the consciousness of the Filipino people on the importance of preserving the environment such as oceans, seas and other bodies of water.
Vargas, a member of the House Committee on Ecology, filed House Bill 7336 or an
Act Institutionalizing International Coastal Clean Up Day In the Philippines.
In the proposal of declaring every second Sunday of September a National Coastal Clean Up Day, Vargas underscored the need to remind Filipinos of protecting the environment and avoiding water pollution.
With this kind of program, Vargas said, the problem of solid waste management in Boracay and in other islands in the country will be prevented.
“The country’s seas, lakes and other marine resources are not spared from human destructive practices, especially the inconsiderate dumping of garbage, debris, and other wastes in our waterways,” Vargas said.
“It is with vital importance to have a National Coastal Clean-up Day to increase the awareness of Filipinos about water pollution,” he added.
Under the bill, the observance of the National Coastal Clean-Up Day shall be an annual program of activities that would promote water pollution prevention through coastal clean-up.
It should be implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in support of Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Civil Service Commission, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the local government units (LGUs).
Just recently, the inter-agency task force composed of DENR, DILG and Department of Tourism (DoT) working on the rehabilitation of Boracay Island recommended the total closure of the resort island to address its environmental problems.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself said he will order the closure of Boracay after he called it a “cesspool.”
While the closure saddened Vargas, he is supporting the effort of President Duterte in addressing the problem in Boracay, which was named World’s Best Beach in various surveys.
“I commend the President for his concerns on the island, it shows how he values and gives importance to our environment.” Vargas said.
According to Vargas the problem of waste sanitation and environment abuses in Boracay have been a problem locally.
Likewise, Vargas urged the concerned agencies to also consider the livelihood of the people working in Boracay in their recommendation to close the island and place it under rehabilitation.
“I am concerned with the displaced workers. I am appealing to resort owners, especially those found violating environmental policies on their structures to consider giving the workers temporary livelihood so that compensation can still continue.” Vargas stressed.
He likewise asked concerned agencies to form a task force which the main purpose is to prioritize the welfare of the people who will be displaced and to find temporary remedies on how the workers of different business establishments will cope up with their daily needs.
-March 20, 2018