Boracay celebrates gains in beach management program


The Boracay Beach Management Program (BBMP), a multi-sectoral initiative for the protection, sustainability and enhancement of the island’s coastal and marine resources, celebrated its first anniversary last 24 September 2011, with an impressive list of accomplishments in seven priority areas.

Following a comprehensive strategy, Malay Mayor John P. Yap recognized the importance of dynamic public-private partnership in achieving tangible improvements after just one year of program implementation.  The Boracay Beach Management Council (BBMC) rallied under the call to action, “Para Sa Boracay Ako! For Boracay I Will…”, and reported the following achievements:

Local Governance.  With strong leadership and political will, Malay Mayor John P. Yap has pushed for the implementation of the BBMP priority programs. Visitors and residents are reminded to observe municipal ordinances against littering, smoking, extracting sand and pebbles, etc.

Coastal Resources. Regular beach and underwater clean-up drives have been performed by various volunteer groups. Coastal nurseries supply new corals that are transplanted in degraded reef areas.  Artificial reef domes, deployed in strategic areas, have encouraged the reemergence of new coral species and provide excellent breeding grounds for many fish varieties.  Mangrove growth has been closely monitored.

Watershed. A comprehensive reforestation plan for 260-hectares is in place.  For 2011, the target is to reforest 63-hectares with 30,000 seedlings produced from the seedling nursery. During the anniversary celebrations, Mayor Yap launched the Adopt-A-Tree program and distributed some 3,000 seedlings to Boracay students and foresters to be planted in their backyards and school grounds.

Water and Waste Water.  Access to potable water has reached 96% of households, and the sewage treatment plant has been upgraded for environmentally compliant waste water effluent quality.

Solid Waste. New equipment and upgraded facilities have made garbage collection and processing more effective.

Hazard Protection.  A Philippine National Red Cross office is now present in Boracay, and emergency response capabilities have been enhanced with trained personnel, new sea patrol craft and upgraded communications equipment.

Information, Education & Communication.  The “For Boracay I Will” advocacy generated public awareness and cooperation from various stakeholders, and is now ready to reach out to a wider audience with an expanded campaign themed “Sali Ako Dyan!”  For greater social media visibility, a FaceBook page “For Boracay I Will” welcomes posts from the public about their happy memories of Boracay and how to preserve this island paradise for future generations.

With its previous experience in the United Nations Development Programme’s Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) framework, Petron played a key role in facilitating the formation of the BBMP.  Starting out with a handful of members from the local government units, national government agencies, community organizations, youth groups and the private sector, the Boracay Beach Management Council (BBMC) now counts about 30 proponents.

These include:  The Municipality of Malay, Aklan; San Miguel Corporation; Petron Corporation; Petron Foundation Inc.; Provincial Government of Aklan; Department of Environment & Natural Resources; Boracay Foundation Inc.; Akelco Boracay; Aklan Provincial Tourism Council; Barangays Balabag, Caticlan, Kabulihan, Manoc-Manoc & Yapak; Boracay Association of Sucba Diving Schools; Boracay Island Hopping Association; Boracay Island Water Company; Boracay Island Special Fire Protection Unit; Boracay Land Transportation Multi-Purpose Cooperative; Boracay Solid Waste Management Team; Boracay Special Tourist Police Office; Boracay Yuppies; Coast Guard Detachment-Boracay; Department of Tourism-Boracay; Islander Boracay; Kiwanis Club of Boracay; Lifeguard Boracay; Malay Auxiliary Police; Malay Farm-C; Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI)-Boracay; Rotary Club of Boracay; YES FM 91.1; 605th MARPSTA (Maritime Police); and 61st 1B 31D PA Task Force Boracay.