Inside Boracay: Week 10
Boracay saw a number of visits from various Government Commitees this week including representatives from the Department of Agriculture and House Representatives from the Commission for Natural Resources. Other news includes:-
- Boracay Gin & Vodka win in an International Tasting Awards Competition
- DOLE Secretary advises that only 3,000 of Boracay’s Registered Workers have claimed the Cash Assistance available
- Hawksbill Turtle’s Released in to Boracay waters
- A Malaynon’s Perspective of the closure
- Boracay’s Women Producers Co-operatives one step closure to Dept Agriculture Grants
- DWPH funding released to complete the Road Widening Program
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – Boracay’s Sirena Gin & Vodka win awards.
Destileria Barako, located in Malay and owned by a number of Boracay Residents, beat numerous others in a competition in the USA, last week.
Sirena Blue Pea Gin secured a Double Gold SIP Award, and Sirena Vodka secured a Gold SIP Award, in the International Spirits Category. The competition invites consumers to take part in a “Blind Challenge”, where the tasting is done without knowing which brands they’re drinking, and the consumers then judge and rate their favourite spirits.
Both spirits, already popular on Boracay, are available to buy in bars and at various stores. Consideration, is being given by the owners to produce miniature bottles, which will be ideal for tourists wanting to take back souvenirs.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – Eco/Agricultural Tourism considered for Boracay’s Ati Community
Agriculture Secretary, Emmanuel Piñol announces the plans to create a Beachfront Resort to be run by members of Boracay’s Ati Community. Recently, suggestions were made to provide land for farming which was a noble idea.
However, the majority of the Ati community have stated that they do not wish to be farmers, as none of them have any experience. Members of the community have been clear that they wish to have equal opportunity to be part of the tourism and hospitality industry, which will allow greater economic stability and skills growth.
Members of Boracay’s Ati tribe will be trained, and receive technical support to operate an organic restaurant in Barangay Manoc-Manoc. The intention for the resort, will be beachfront “Tribal vacation cottages”. The cottages will be made using indigenous building materials and will promote traditional facilities and eco or organic products, such as Pinay Boracay’s Gumamela Soap (made from Hibiscus flowers) and rice coffee ‘sara-sara’.
The Ati village itself will be updated to be more sustainable, with a solar-powered vegetable greenhouse and irrigation systems.
In addition to this, the Department of Agriculture has assisted the local Ati community with the purchase of 10 fishing boats, and garden equipment, to help further with self-sufficiency efforts.
Pinay Boracay Women Producers Co-operative impress the Department of Agriculture – June 27
Boracay’s Women Producers Co-operative were visited by the Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Director Alice Ilaga, Head of Western Visaya’s Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Credit Production Council (ACPC). The visit was in regards to the Co-operative’s application for financial grants towards a green house, training and renovation of the current processing area of their Hibiscus “Gwapamela” Products.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 Video of the laying of the new Sewage Pipe to Bulabog Beach, as filmed by ‘transformer’ obsessed islander Rhinna Palmer.
You can follow Rhinna’s Island Rehabilitation Updates on her YouTube Channel
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – 29th June Volunteers denied entry to Boracay but Humintarian Food Aid delivered regardless
According to Rappler and Panay Today, 29 volunteers from a humanitarian Mission were denied entry to Boracay when they attempted to deliver food aid, collected for residents most affected by the islands closure. This was to be the third mission, which had been organized by Friends of Boracay, Rise Up Aklan and We Are Boracay, in partnership with the Boracay Christian Church. Bloomfield Integrated Academy and Boracay Island Global Academy have been offering their academy as drop and collect zones for the food parcel recipients.
Kim Sin Tugna commented: “Two months after the closure, many residents are feeling the pangs of hunger especially those who remained in the island who are relying on the meager support from the government. The reliefs from private donors could have provided the gap in the food supply for the locals who were displaced from their work”. Tugna said that the latest visit was blocked by the Boracay Security Committee.
Olive Abanera (We Are Boracay) added “We have been conducting this mission for two rows already and this is the only time our volunteers were blocked. We have followed the protocol and informed the inter-agency task force days ahead of the mission and we were not even informed of the reason of the blockade.”
Boracay Police advise that whilst the volunteers themselves were denied entry, in line with the current entry requirements for access to the island, the food aid was delivered to Bloomfield Academy and the majority of the parcels have all ready been distributed.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – June 29 Three Hawksbill Turtle’s released
Station 1 saw the release of three juvenile Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) back to their natural habitat.
Hawksbill Turtle’s are a highly endangered species of sea turtle. The three were rescued over three consequtive days in March of this year and rehabilitated prior to their release on the 29th June. This Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release effort was made possible by the Environmental Management Services Unit, Malay LGU.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – a Malyanon’s Persepctive of the impacts brought about by the closure of Boracay
“Undeniably, the tourism destination sector is greatly affected especially the host communities ……… I appeal to the government to consult the residents for concerns that directly affect them. Boracay local residents should be part of the rehabilitation task force. I support my fellow Malaynon’s to continue these cries but at the same time, I encourage everyone to be part of the solution.” Read More Here
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – 30th June Senate proposes Buy Back of Plastics Bill
Media reports state the Senate’s intention to introduce legislation which will require beverage manufacturers to buy back their emptied plastic bottles, to help reduce the country’s plastic pollution.
The bill, which was initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau will also encourage customers to bring their own containers with them, when shopping, so they can fill them direct and buy items such as shampoo, coffee and cooking oil.
The concept of Zero Waste Shops, where customers bring their own containers for purchases, are spreading across the World. The Bill will also require Shops to provide Redemption Centers for customers where they can return empty bottles, which the Manufacturers will be required to collect and recycle.
Sen. Joel Villanueva stated: “We want to impose discipline [regarding] proper waste management and recycling …. Little by little, we can do so much for our environment and we must strive to remove our country from the list of major contributors of plastic wastes being dumped into the world’s oceans.” Read more here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1005580/senate-bill-to-require-buyback-of-plastics#ixzz5JzoO6X3P
Boracay’s own proposed Ordinance for a Ban On Single Use Plastics, passed its second reading this week without questions or issues raised, making it increasingly likely the propsoal will become Ordinance and put in to effect. Your Hospitality Hub facilitated a number of Eco Sustainability Focus Groups, made up of residents and stakeholders, and presented their ideas for a Ban on Single Use Plastics to Maylynn “Nenette” T Aguirre-Graf, to take forward. Other Key stakeholders also presented ideas for the same issue, which were pulled together for a combined Proposed Ordinance.
On July 5, the start of Week 11 of closure, Senator Risa Hontiveros files a Bill banning the use of plastic straws and stirrers in restaurants and other establishments.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – 1st July Low take up of DOLE’s Cash Assistance program
DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Secretary advised that only 3,737 out of 19,000 Workers have secured the Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP), an Adjustment Measures Program (AMP) for Boracay’s displaced/retained workers. According to various media sources, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III claimed the low applications are because the islands resorts hadn’t circulated information about the program to their staff.
However, residents and affected employees say that they do know about the program but the requirements needed to secure the financial aid is not as easy as the DOLE Secretary believes. One issue, in particular, is the need for recipients to have a Land Bank of the Philippines Account, with the nearest branch being located in Kalibo; 2.5 hrs away from Boracay. DOLE has advised that those who don’t have a LBP Account will have their application forwarded to the bank who will then issue a Cash Card, which will add an additional 2 weeks to the application process. However, this still requires recipients to go to Kalibo to collect their card and access their money. The other complaint is that those who have submitted their papers are still waiting to hear if these have been accepted.
“It’s low because it’s difficult to qualify for all your requirements! My Staff submitted requirements but are still not on your list” one Islander commented in a Facebook post.
Another replied that their 22 members of staff were experiencing the same problems, having submitted their application but with no updates since. An anonymous source at MiniMart advised that all of their staff are PESO registered, and have submitted all the required papers, but only one staff team member’s name showed on the latest list to collect the money.
Comments on Boracay Informers Facebook post about the issue include: “I applied last may 26, they said I will receive the aid at end of June but I receive nothing until now”.
This was a common theme among those commenting on Boracay Informers post, along with people who claim it is too difficult to apply, with conflicting information provided by DOLE staff.
The program allows displaced or suspended employees to claim 50% of the minimum wage of the region (or 4,205.50PHP), per month for up to 6 months. Whilst retained employees, who are not receiving their normal wage level, can claim 25% of the Minimum Wage (2,102.75PHP), for up to three months. However, each month, the recipients must supply a Recipients Progress Report, 2 lots of proof that they are actively seeking employment elsewhere and proof that they have attended a Government Agency training program (in the 1st and 4th months).
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – July 4 Work starts on laying the new roads
Aklan DPWH OIC Engineer, Noel Fuentebella advises that they are ready to start laying the new roads on the island. He notes that the new pipes for the sewage line are in place, the funding has been released and the equipment and manpower is ready to start laying the new road surfaces. Akelco and Pantelco have been contacted by DPWH to co-ordinate the removal and relocation of their masts, some of which still breach the new road set-back measurements.
Inside Boracay: Week 10 – Visit by House Committee on Natural Resources July 4th – 5th
Bill Proposed for a Boracay Management Authority by House Committee
Representative Arnel Ty, Chairperson of the House Committee on Natural Resources, advised that the Committee is finalizing a draft Bill to create a Boracay Management Authority. The Authority will supervise and manage the Island. The Management Authority will be composed of representatives from a range of sectors, including national agencies, the LGU, private sectors, and NGOs.
Ty, highlighting, Boracay’s contribution to the Philippine Economy, stated that the management of the island should not be entrusted entirely to the LGU.
“We will not allow this (the management of the island) solely to the local government unit. The reason why we have this problem is because of the building permits, the ECC (Environment Compliance Certificates) that have been issued,” he said.
The Bill will be filed on July 23, when the session resumes.
House Committee inspects the Islands main Sewage Treatment Plants.
Members of the House Committee on Natural Resources also visited the sites of the islands two Water companies. Members visited Boracay Island Water Company’s Manoc Manoc site, to inspect its existing Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).
They also visited Boracay Tubic, in Manoc Manoc to view their STP, which is currently under construction.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) invited stakeholders to attend a meeting to talk about the new DENR Memorandum Cicrular No.2018-16, requiring White Beach establishments to have their own Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).
During the meeting stakeholders were invited to raise any issues and concerns. The Memorandum requires all Hotels, Resorts, and similar establishments on White Beach with 50 rooms and above to have their own Sewage Treatment Plant. Any establishments with less than 50 rooms, are expected to share a Cluster STP, with other smaller establishments.
Attorney Ramar Niel Pascua, chief legal officer of DENR-Environmental Management Bureau 6, promised that any issues raised during the meeting, will be discussed with Secretary Cimatu.