Save Boayan Island!

April 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

What’s happening to the town of San Vicente in the province of Palawan is a prime example why we can’t entrust the lives and welfare of our people to our local officials. If we are to agree on a federal parliamentary form of government, we might yet end up with practically all prime and pristine lands of this country destroyed due to the capriciousness and rapaciousness of those who’ll rule this Paradise called Filipinas.

Residents of San Vicente are up in arms over the scare and bullying tactics being done by San Vicente mayor Antonio V. Gonzales. A former executive of the biggest logging firm owned by billionaire Jose Pepito Alvarez, Gonzales ran and won the mayoral post in this once quiet town. After winning the elections, Gonzales marshaled the entire town on a selling spree and for what? To transform the place into a multi-billion tourism estate.

Nothing wrong here except that, as of late, the construction of tourism facilities has already disrupted the ecosystem. A hill has already been destroyed and some age-old trees have already been cut. Natural springs have been destroyed and what’s worst, the pristine paradise called Boayan Island is now being threatened by commercial tourism interests.

It seems that Mayor Gonzales is lusting for millions of pesos worth of commissions from these tourism projects in exchange for destroying the natural wonder that is San Vicente, Northern, Palawan.

The target for this monumental environmental destruction in the name of commercial tourism is a 15 kilometer stretch of beach with world-class fine, white, powdery sand called Long beach. Long beach is reputedly better than Boracay beach sand. The buying spree started when the local government gave permission for commercial tourism companies to occupy these beach fronts. A marina is being built right now as we speak. Residents said the marina already destroyed the natural protective barriers that shield San Vicente from torrential storms and strong waves.

Aside from the Long beach, rapacious commercial tourist groups are eyeing the natural wonder called Daplac cove. Boayan Island is part of that cove of pristine wonder.

For local residents, Boayan Island is a place very close to their hearts. One of its residents, D. Roxas, a daughter of Sixto Roxas, has been living in the island for more than twenty years with her French husband. She described the place as a heavenly paradise, teeming with rich wildlife and a stretch of fine powdery sand.

An investment group called Palawan Cove Development Corporation in partnership with Boracay-based Discovery Suites has obtained a licence to develop the Daplac cove into a high-end luxury resort.

Nothing wrong with the vision except that it will totally destroy the ecosystem in Daplac, endangering wildlife and opening the place into more predations and environmental destruction brought by commercial tourism. Imagine thousands of uncaring tourists flocking to the place and trashing around. Just think of those tons of garbage destroying the natural beauty of Boayan Island, Daplac cove and the rest of the town of San Vicente in Northern Palawan due to commercial tourism.

This shows you how perverted the view of government in terms of tourism. Why Tourism secretary Ace Durano agreed on this is beyond me. Tourism is good, yes, because it generates employment and much-needed revenues. Yet, growth and progress should be tempered with environmental welfare.

Eco-tourism should forever be the policy of this government simply because these natural wonders which God gave us is not just for the present generation—it is also for the future generation of Filipinos to enjoy. These future Pinoys have every right to see their Motherland protected against commercialism.

Let this be our crusade. Every Filipino who loves the Motherland should see to it that these God-given gifts, like Daplac Cove and Boayan Island would not be ravished by these commercial tourist entities. If we need to launch a revolt against the government, we will.

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