A problem like Boracay
After what has happened in Boracay, government officials should now change their mindsets and stop thinking about their precious attractions as mere sources of pride and revenue.
The Department of Tourism has announced the formation of an inter-agency task force to rehabilitate Boracay island and make it at par with other prominent resort islands in the world. The master plan will be drafted by noted architect Felino Palafox.
The team proposes a declaration of a state of calamity for six months and closure for two months so that sewerage and other environmental concerns can be addressed.
This is hardly good news for travelers especially at the onset of the summer season.
Hardly encouraging, too, for business owners who have profited from the high volume of visitors to the island not only during the summer but at all times of the year.
But there appears to be no choice especially since President Rodrigo Duterte has uttered choice words about the state of sanitation in what is supposed to be a paradise.
The Boracay problem did not develop overnight. It was the result of cumulative neglect and laxity and greed of those tasked to oversee its exploitation in the first place.
True, developments bring economic activity and place certain places on the map. But progress must not be unbridled. It must be balanced with basic and practical concerns.
Did they think they could keep doing this in the famous island resort without the consequences of their neglect catching up with them?
Now pertinent government agencies and local executives know what to do—and what not to.