Rape of Boracay started years ago PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:10

BY BOB JALDON

Thirty years ago, a Manila tabloid exposed the unabated “rape” of Boracay by smugglers hauling precious pebbles from this fabled Panay island to Manila and Batangas. The newspaper alleged that boats regularly bring to Manila loads of decorative tiny stones. The report added: “In the process, villagers have to suffer massive air pollution caused by minute particles blown off by truckloads of Boracay pebbles as they transit through the lakeshore villages in Batangas used by smugglers as landing points for their illegal cargo.

I wonder what the Cory Aquino government did at that time to stop the smuggling of these precious pebbles that must have fetched millions of dollars in the foreign market. To be sure, It posed a threat to the ecological balance if Boracay was to remain one the country’s famous tourist attractions.

Even now as Boracay is undergoing rehabilitation, the island glitters like a tiny jewel among the more than 7,000 Philippine islands that make up our archipelago. For foreign tourists, or even the local elite, Boracay is a romantic dream come true, “an island paradise with its idyllic combination of swaying palm trees, warm sun, blue sea and pristine shoreline mangled by the prized Boracay pebbles.”

The government then warned of the “frightening danger” that the Philippines will lose Boracay’s irreplaceable asset — and when it does, it will only have itself to blame. Now, we are fixing what has been destroyed, and when Boracay reopens to the world, we hope that the island operators would take good care of handling waste and hazards.

While other countries closely guard their natural treasures and resources, the Philippines, thanks to greed, is notoriously neglectful of such wealth. Boracay has been that tragic example. But it’s too late to cry over spilt milk. Our concern now should be the continuing abuse and rape of nature’s beautiful gifts to us by a conscienceless few whose dire lack of scruples allow them to sell our environmental future.

Meanwhile, the index crimes and crimes committed against persons and property in Boracay dropped by almost 80 percent since the island resort was closed to tourists.

Records from the Metro Boracay Police Task Force showed that from 176 cases recorded from April 26 to June 22, 2017, the figures dropped to only 14 or a significant decrease of 79.5 percent for the same period this year.

Boracay was closed to tourists on April 26 for rehabilitation and clean up. Before the closure, residents expressed fear that crime incidents on the island might increase. In almost two months from its closure, only two robbery and eight theft cases were recorded.

To El Presidente: if the crime rate in Boracay continues to drop, why not permanently close down the island resort? Broma lang.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:11