EThe government's Inter-Agency Task Force workingunder the clear directives of a strong-willed President, has achieved dramatic accomplishments in the clean-up of Boracay Island, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.
Boracay Island was closed to tourists on April 26, 2018 on orders of President Rody Duterte who said that the tourist destination which draws tourists around the world because of its blue waters and white sand beach has degenerated into a cesspool because of neglect and extreme commercialism.
The President's order to close down Boracay Island for six months for a total clean up and rehabilitation was met with protests and criticisms from opposition figures who said that closing the island to tourists was an unwise move because it would deprive people of income opportunities and livelihood and thousands would lose jobs.
Others expressed doubt that the clean-up timetable of 6 months was unrealistic and that the government will never be able to rehabilitate Boracay Island.
During the 26th Meeting of the Cabinet, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat asked whether the Oct. 26 scheduled opening of the island would push through.
President Duterte referred her question to Environmental Secretary Roy Cimatu, head of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Rehabilitation of Boracay Island, who assured the Cabinet that the island will reopen on Oct. 26 and tourists could start flying in Oct. 27.
Drone photos and ground shots taken today by a team of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID) of the Department of Agriculture Regional Office VI showed that indeed change has come to Boracay Island after only 57 days of hard work by the government agencies involved.
With four more months to go before the scheduled reopening, there is no doubt that Boracay Island will regain its old beauty, thanks to a President who exercised political will and faced all odds.
(Drone shots and ground still photos were taken today by DA RAFID VI team under Director Remelyn Recoter. The last two photos were taken by another Dept. of Agriculture team on June 6, 2018)