By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
In support of the government’s efforts to address the flooding in Boracay, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has approved a budget of P851.460 million for the Phase II of the Boracay Drainage Improvement Project.
Approved on January 12, 2018, the TIEZA Board also ordered to fast-track the implementation of the drainage project.
Phase II is comprised of five (5) design and construction packages in the identified locations, as follows: Package 1a – PS3/Bolabog Basin/North Drainage/Kalahi Literal Package 2 – SOP2/PS1 Upgrade/Laying of 208m 450mm and 500mm dia HDPE Pipe Package 3 – SOP3/PS4 Package 4 – PS2/Basin at PCTV Road/Interior Drainage/Main Road Drainage Upgrade/Lagutan Road Drainage Package 5 – South Drainage and Bloomfields Drainage.
Phase II was originally comprised of six packages and programmed for a construction period of five to seven years.
However, the overdevelopment and perennial flooding in Boracay warranted the need to fast-track the implementation of Phase II. Thus, the construction period was shortened to three years.
The implementation of Phase II shall commence this January and will end by 2020.
“On our end, these are the concrete steps to help ensure that flooding in Boracay is addressed. We have been tirelessly working on the concerns of Boracay, and have awarded Package1 of Phase II last year. This is not only a matter of local concern but also of national interest,”TIEZA Chief Operating Officer / General Manager Pocholo D. Paragas said in a statement.
Boracay Island, being one of the primary tourism destinations in the Philippines, requires the proactive involvement and participation of all stakeholders – the local government in strictly enforcing environmental laws and regulations, and the tourists and people of the island in complying with the same.
TIEZA said they have been steadfast in providing the island with water supply and sewerage system through its joint venture company Boracay Island Water Company, Inc. (BIWC) and in its commitment to implement a drainage system project. Phase I of the Boracay Water Drainage Project was completed in 2014, consisting of the construction of pumping station (PS) and network of drainage lines along the Central Boracay Business District which is the most flood prone area. Phase II includes the construction of a pipeline that will divert the treated drainage water into a wetland in Sitio Lugutan. At present, treated water is discharged at the Bulabog Beach.
With the fast-tracking of the completion of Phase II, TIEZA not only aims to improve the water quality and supply in the island and to help alleviate the flooding problem but also to ensure the island’s environmental sustainability for this and the next generations to come.