‘Jolina’ brings anew flood to Boracay

Published September 9, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — Heavy rainfall from tropical cyclone “Jolina” flooded anew portions of world-famous Boracay Island in Malay town, Aklan province.

Local residents posted photos and videos on Facebook group dubbed as Bugtaw Boracay (Wake up Boracay).

One particular video shows water gushing downward into residential areas by the side of the road in Yapak, one of the three barangays (villages) in the country’s most famous beach destination.

Some even posted memes to make everything lighter, especially that the negative socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.

Flooding is nothing new to Boracay. It occurs annually even when there is no rain. Authorities later attributed this problem to illegal connections of some resorts and hotels of its sewage waste to the drainage system, which is only supposed to hold rainwater.

But many could not hide their frustrations that Boracay’s rehabilitation efforts are not as effective, especially with the unfinished Boracay Drainage Project.

“After all these years, it’s still not completed,” said Malay Town Councilor Nenette Graf in a phone interview with Manila Bulletin Thursday, September 9.

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), has repeatedly assured since the Aquino administration that it will fast-track the completion of the second phase.

Another reassurance was made during the Duterte administration, particularly in 2018 when Boracay was temporarily closed to tourists for six months in an attempt to strengthen environmental rehabilitation.