With clear turquoise water and fine white sand, Boracay Island is the epitome of beauty and tranquility. Or, I should say, it used to be. With so many people flocking to the island, Boracay has suffered from human-induced damage. Now, it is closing down to rehabilitate.
How is Boracay suffering?
In 2017 alone, 2.1 million tourists visited the island. Suffice it to say that the island was unable to cope with the high human traffic. Problems such as environmental pollution, traffic congestion, insufficient waste management, and illegal construction cropped up. Not only that; the final straw was when Presient Rodrigo Duterte visited the island in February 2018. After seeing the sewage and environmental damage, he called it a “cesspool”, and made plans to close the island for a clean-up.
How will the closure help Boracay?
As Boracay takes a break from the world, there are a few things that will help sustain the island in the long run. First of all, Boracay will be constructing a sewer system. Then, officials will clear the beaches of illegal constructions, returning the beaches to its former glory. They will also inspect legal buildings and businesses to ensure that they’re following construction and environmental regulations. There is some talk about reevaluating the “carrying capacity” of the island as well.
When will Boracay be closed, and for how long?
Boracay Island will most likely be closed starting on the 26th of April, and it depends on how successful the rehabilitation is. There’s no announcement of an end date yet, but the island could be closed from six months to a year. However, a cabinet meeting scheduled for the 5th of April should provide us with the answers we want.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened. Our very own Sipadan Island famously closed down its resorts back in 2002 for similar reasons, and they remain closed today. The island allows visitors, but it’s not always easy to gain access to Sipadan. Boracay may be following in Sipadan’s footsteps, and unless we take more care, more beaches/islands may follow suit. Look at the pictures. Be responsible tourists, guys!