By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — Now that Boracay in Aklan has reopened, long-term remedies are being sought to minimize trash build-up at the resort island.
“It is important that the Boracay people know the existing problems on solid waste. They should also be the one to identify the possible solutions to the problem because it is their community,” said Valentin Talabero, Aklan provincial chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Talabero said the workshop for ecological solid waste management conducted by DENR’s Task Force Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK) is a technical guide for Boracay businesses, schools, the youth, and barangay officials.
Before Boracay was shut down to tourists and described as a cesspool by President Duterte, one of the recurring problems is how to properly dispose of the trash generated by the island’s tourism industry.
Last year, tourists and residents complained of foul odor from Boracay’s main trash facility, where 20,000 to 30,000 kilos of trash was left. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu had to push the local government of Malay town, Aklan province to haul the garbage produced by Boracay tourism to the mainland.
During the October 26 reopening, Manila Bulletin found no garbage cans along the pathway of a beachfront. Instead, big plastic bags serving as trash bins were tied to palm trees for visitors to throw their garbage.
Some residents, however, said they had seen garbage cans.
“This Tayo ang Kalikasan movement will inculcate to the Boracay community to properly implement solid waste management,” said Jim Sampulna, DENR regional director for Western Visayas.