During the stated time span, only registered island residents and employees of business establishments are allowed to enter the premises. Authorities have laid out a lockdown plan to keep out all foreign and Filipino tourists using more than 600 police, including a 138-member “crowd dispersal unit.” Guarded by the military and the police, locals are asked to present an I.D every time they leave and enter the island– to prevent “outsiders” from loitering the area. The closure is believed to create the island’s environmental remediation; to restore the beauty of Boracay Island and to create a much more sustainable environment.
Before the rehabilitation took place, Boracay Water has been developing its sewer system and network, which has been approved by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). Used water from septic tanks of residential and commercial establishments are gathered, and delivered to the two sewage treatment plants. The water gathered will undergo treatment and processes that will turn it to a usable water, which will fit for the recreational activities in the island’s beach waters without polluting it.
Boracay water is now accommodating more establishments to connect to the sewer network for them to avail and support proper used water services. During the rehabilitation they have completed the diversion flow with a temporary interceptor which redirects drainage water to its sewerage treatment plants for proper treatment.
Despite a hectic schedule, the road expansion project on Boracay Island, The Department of Public Works and Highways in the Western Visayas region said its personnel would work overtime just to meet the target reopening of the island on October. 180 personnel, including heavy equipment operators coming from district offices in the region, had been sent to the island to work on more than 500 structures along the main road are affected by road widening which mostly are residential and business owners opting to demolish portions of their properties encroaching on the 12-meter road easement.
A study has found that Boracay’s carrying capacity was estimated to be around 55,000 at any given time but over the recent years it had ballooned to an average of 70,000 people on the island each day which amounts to a 15,000 worth of overcapacity in terms of population. During the Labor Day and long weekends beach parties held in Boracay, once caused the influx of 67,000 tourists in a day which meant that the island, during these events have hosted around 100,000 people a day, double its carrying capacity.
Previous statements from the DENR placed the blame on “generating too much waste and a deterioration of water quality” for the pulling back of the Islands capacity.
Because of the issue on overcapacity large Boracay parties may no longer happen. The President has also said that no casino resort would be put up in the popular holiday destination and that he was placing it under land reform, citing a Supreme Court decision in October 2008 that declared Boracay, which it classified as forested and agricultural, as state owned.
From being a “cesspool” as described by President Rodrigo Duterte; Boracay as of today has shown signs of improvement especially the beach that was once dumped with dirt due to a drainage pipe. The beaches are absolutely spotless, without the boats, vendors or tourists in sight. The image of serenity is breathtaking as if you are on a love-at-first-sight affair with Boracay again.
The locals around the island has reportedly spotted whale sharks around the closed area which is a good sign that the rehabilitation is indeed working for the island itself. The road widening is still on a working progress with more worker being sent to the island. Boracay remains peaceful with no significant incident since its closure. The 6 months rehabilitation has brought so many questions but
As announced by an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, The target reopening of Boracay Island is on October 26, 2018. We will again witness the new Boracay Island after its long rest from people. As you may visit Boracay Island keep it in mind to only bring memories with you and footsteps behind.