Malay

Malay, a first-class Municipality is the tourism capital of the Province of Aklan. Located at the northwestern tip of Panay Island, it is bounded on the north by Sibuyan and Sulu Seas, on the east by the Municipality of Nabas, on the west by the Municipality of Buruanga and on the south by the Province of Antique. Having a total land area of 6,731 hectares, it is politically divided into 17 barangays.

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OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE MISLEADING PHOTOS ATTACHED TO THE NEWS ARTICLES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND THE 6-MONTH ULTIMATUM IMPOSED BY PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE

 

Last January 9, 2018, the respective secretaries of DENR and DOT made an aerial inspection of Boracay Island and a closed-door meeting with the Local Chief Executive and some of its stakeholders.

It was unanimously agreed that Boracay is in dire need of help as far as sustainable development is concerned. Last February 10, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte claimed that Boracay is a “cesspool.” Meaning, a specific area created to hold wastes. The Local Government recognizes the existence of these problems and its responsibilities in order to uphold the environmental and social welfare of our beloved island. Which is why, the Local Government Unit of Malay signed a contract with Palafox Associates to formulate and implement the Malay Master Plan for Tourism. In which, the original plan is to integrate the Mainland Malay in the development of Boracay in order to decongest the island.

We also recognize that the President is not happy with what is happening in Boracay Island, despite it being regarded as the Best Island in the World by the Conde Nast Traveler (2017); despite the constant effort of the Municipal Planning and Development Office to pursue and prosecute those who encroached to the 25+5 setback at the beachfront upon the enactment of its ordinance; the organization of Bolabog Task Force by the Office of the Municipal Mayor to rehabilitate and maintain the beauty of Bolabog Beach; despite the successful clearing of all wastes in the Boracay Central MRF within thirteen (13) days; and the strict implementation of the construction of STPs on establishments who sought permit to the Local Government Unit.

We do accept the constructive criticisms of our President and use it as the fundamental aspect of our improvements. However, the online news scoops of GMA and ABS-CBN attached a photo of the seasonal algal bloom in Boracay Island in order to increase the magnitude of their articles and hook people into it—thinking that the waters of Boracay Island are entirely full of algae.

This is not the case. We condemn the recycling of photos for the selling of their “news”. These news institutions gain profit from their news that ultimately degrades the image of Boracay Island which is highly dependent on the Tourism Industry.

We advocate for responsible journalism. These are the photos that GMA and ABS-CBN used for their scoops:

 

 

 

 

These photos were taken during the summer of the previous years. The photo in the article only shows glittering generalities as it does not present any concrete argument or analysis. The media is sensationalizing the algae phenomenon which ultimately hurts the industry of Boracay.

This is the photo of the beachfront taken February 13, 2018:

 

 

We can expect that the algae season will still happen during the summer of this year—and we are prepared for another barrage of news claiming that Boracay is “dirty.”

We will be working closely with the National Government Agencies in order to comply with the six-month ultimatum imposed by our President. The Municipal Government recognizes that the aid of the National Government to address this challenge is essential. Nonetheless, the Municipal Government offers its full cooperation in the fulfillment of the rehabilitation of Boracay Island within six (6) months.

Within this week, the 6-month action plan to address the President’s ultimatum will be made public. Along with it is the convention of the Waste Water Management Council and the Bolabog Task Force which was created by the Municipal Mayor prior to the President’s order to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to rehabilitate Boracay. -LGU Malay