Boracay Island submerged in flood due to heavy rain

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 17, 2019   •   1595

Boracay’s D’Mall shopping plaza | Courtesy: Claire Ang

Several areas in Boracay Island have been submerged in flood since Tuesday (July 16) due to heavy monsoon rain brought by tropical storm Falcon.

Barangay Balabag and several parts of Barangay Manoc-Manoc are experiencing knee-deep flood.

This is despite the modern technologies installed such as the High Density Polyethylene Plastic or HOPE plastic used as storm drains in the island.

According to Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MDRRM) Officer Catherine Ong Fulgencio, they still expected flooding in several areas. She said they already have water pumps on stand by.

“Since hindi pa po tapos ang rehabilitation, may mga areas po na talagang babahain po. We have planned na kapag meron ulan, merong pong mag-stand by na water pump, (Since the rehabilitation is still unfinished, there are areas that will experience flooding. We have planned that when it rains, there will be water pumps on stand by),” she said.

The water pumps are already being used to reduce flood water in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, the local government and the MDRMM continue to monitor the situation in the flooded areas.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Senator wants strict implementation of tourist limit in Boracay

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay has called on the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) to strictly implement the carrying capacity of the island ahead of the expected influx of tourists in the coming months.

In a statement, Binay said the BIATF should provide an update on the status of the frameworks it set in monitoring the number of tourists visiting Boracay, as well as their evaluation and recommendations on the tourist limit policy it implemented.

The senator noted that the government imposed a limit of 6,405 daily tourist entries when Boracay reopened after its six-month rehabilitation last year.

She also stressed that only 19,000 tourists will be allowed in Boracay at any given day, and workers on the island must not exceed 15,000 per day to be able to maintain the 55,000 carrying capacity of the island.

“Dapat po ay natuto na tayo sa naging mga pagkakamali – sa ‘di pagpapatupad ng batas, sa pagbabalewala sa kalikasan, at sa unli-turista sa isla,” Binay said.

The lawmaker also urged the inter-agency council to make sure that establishments in Boracay are complying with environmental laws.

“Sana ‘di ito ningas-cogon lamang dahil sayang lang ang ating magandang nasimulan para sa isla, at itaas po natin ang pamantayan na ating inilagay para mapangalagaan ang isla,” Binay added.

One major component of the Boracay rehabilitation is the implementation of the “25+5-meter” easement along the beach.

This means no structures are allowed to be put up within the 30-m area along the beach.

Structures that encroached on the easement along the white beach at the western side of the island have been removed by the owners or demolished by BIATF.

Binay also suggested that authorities consider training personnel that would brief tourists on the “dos and don’ts” on the island.

“Maliit lang na bagay ito, but I think it would go a long way in making sure tourists are aware of the things that are allowed or prohibited,” the senator said.

DENR temporarily suspends dragon boat racing in Boracay

Marje Pelayo   •   September 27, 2019

Filipino rowing teams compete during the Summer Seasports Festival at Manila Bay, Philippines, 28 March 2009. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the temporary ban on dragon boat racing in the island of Boracay following the tragedy that claimed the lives of seven members of a local dragon boat team.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu who chairs the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), said that such activities are “postponed for the time being until emergency protocols are thoroughly scrutinized.”

“We are temporarily suspending all dragon boat race activities in Boracay, including practice and training, until we have assessed their practice protocols,” he said.

Meanwhile, all concerned agencies are set to meet on Monday (September 30) to conduct an assessment of protocols and come up with recommendations to address the gaps in relation to the accident.

On Wednesday (September 25), seven members of the Boracay Dragon Force died when the boat they were rowing capsized off Boracay Island.

Fourteen of their team members were injured.

The group was training for an upcoming international competition in Taiwan.

Investigations revealed that the members of the team were not wearing life vests when the incident happened.

Several barangays in Zamboanga city submerged in floodwater due to ‘Marilyn’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

Several barangays in Zamboanga City are submerged in flood due to the heavy rains brought by tropical depression ‘Marilyn’ this week.

There is also no electricity in several areas due to broken power lines.

Classes have been suspended in all levels while the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG) already cancelled sea travel for the safety of the passengers.

Meanwhile, various rescue units in Zamboanga City continue to conduct their rescue operations to aid residents affected by the severe flooding. Affected barangays include, Barangay Putik, San Jose Gusu, and Santa Maria.

The local government continues to advise residents in the low-lying areas to immediately evacuate to avoid the effects of the flood.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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