With two (2) months to go until Boracay Island opens on October 26, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) states that it is on track with its commitment for the period of closure to establish a temporary discharge pipe at the Bolabog beach to address the controversial drainage pipes.
TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo D. Paragas emphasized, “TIEZA, as the infrastructure arm of the DOT, is fully committed to complete not only the short-term interventions but more so the long-term engineering solutions to the problems that beset Boracay. Boracay’s problems did not happen overnight, but we are making sure to fast track the project implementation pursuant to the directive of the President.”
TIEZA is also full speed ahead with the implementation of the Boracay Drainage Project (Phase II). The Drainage Project with a total allocation of Php 1.1 billion is expected to finish by the third quarter of 2019.
Construction of Temporary Discharge Pipe, to address cesspool
During the island’s six-month closure and rehabilitation period, TIEZA commenced the establishment of a temporary discharge pipe along Bolabog Beach to address the brown and blue pipes where illegal connections were made and in turn created the island’s cesspool image. The pipes were discovered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the government agency tasked to police the compliance of the establishments to the Clean Water Act and other environmental regulations, to be illegally connected to the drainage or directly discharging their untreated wastewater underneath the beachfront.
The temporary discharge pipe is targeted to be completed by August 2018. The temporary discharge pipe is connected to the holding tank to ensure that water will be treated before pumping out the coast of Bolabog.
Completion of Boracay Drainage Project to address flooding
A long-term engineering solution to the perennial problem of flooding in the island, TIEZA COO Paragas urged the TIEZA Board of Directors on January 2018, months prior the closure, to approve the fast tracking of the project to three (3) years instead of the original seven (7) years. To date, all six packages under Phase II are for implementation.
The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), now TIEZA, constructed the drainage system to primarily address the flooding in the island. The increase of the tourists and establishments without the proper development planning was said to have contributed to the large storm water runoffs that flowed towards low lying areas, which in turn caused flooding.
TIEZA, is the builder of tourism infrastructures of national interest and significance to promote sustainable tourism and inclusive growth. TIEZA is solely funded through 50% of the total travel tax collection (40% goes to the Commission on Higher Education and 10% goes to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts).