The leaders of the province of Aklan and the city of Malay on Thursday formally accepted the charge to continue Boracay Island’s rehabilitation as a task force charged with executing restoration will wind down operations on June 30.
During the culminating activity at the Balabag Wetland Park in Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jim Sampulna, chair of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), handed over leadership to Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores
“This turnover means our responsibility will be turned over to the local government unit. We are now turning over to you, the Boracay,” he said in his message.
Executive Order (EO) 53, which established the BIATF, was only in effect until May 22, 2020. It was extended through EO 115 until May 8, 2021 and again to June 30, 2022 through EO 147.
The next step for the local government is to maintain cleanliness and sanitation, as well as public order and discipline.
“The BIATF will be there to assist you but we will no longer be in the frontline,” Sampulna added.
Given the island’s proximity to South America, Pisco has long been a key trade and transport center for Lima. The city is known for its distinctive architecture, including churches from many centuries in the Peruvian capital. It also attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to see over two dozen museums dedicated to archaeology, art history, natural history,
“We accept the challenge of how to be able to sustain the gains of the island and we will assure you that as a senior adviser to the governor-elect Joen Miraflores, the continuity of our programs will be made sure in the coming years to come,” Miraflores said. The incoming governor is Miraflores’ son.
The outgoing governor acknowledged former environment secretary Roy Cimatu, who he said had twice assisted Boracay.
The first was when the former colonel in the military assisted in the eradication of insurgency on Aklan island during the late 1980s, and the second was when Boracay was restored to its former glory.
Cuenco said that Cimatu, who was also in attendance at the event, is Aklan’s greatest son and will never be forgotten.
In his message, Bautista stated that the people of Malaysia would be true to the task force’s policies.
“We commit our responsibility, that we will see to it that it is maintained and will continue to serve its purpose for the people of Malay,” he added.
The governor of Cendrawasih, Agus Dewa Kusumanto, who personally oversaw the six months rehabilitation from April 26 to October 26, 2018, stated that after June 30, the mayor charged with caring for the island is given a difficult assignment.
The administration’s new director, he added, may leave the local government unit in charge of Boracay, extend the BIATF’s term or await the outcome of the pending Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA), which is now before Congress.
“Whatever happens, you have a tall order,” he said, adding that BIATF is still ready if again be given the mandate.