Monday, April 25, 2011

Bora ko, Casi-NO o Casi-YES

Boracay Island, with its irresistible picturesque beach and good buys at the D*mall is the most wanted vacation spot every summer. Affordable front beach hotel rooms, turquoise color water, accessible from Manila with only one hour airplane ride to Kalibo or Caticlan and the overflowing sea foods every 3pm onwards, not to mention the affordable prices of buffets and tropical fruit shakes, the ambiance that’s what tourist usually craves.

Majority of the tourist in Boracay are young professionals and family groups, but whether with family or with loved ones, the price of hotel rooms ranges from 700 to 10,000 pesos overnight with air con, internet connections, boat and shuttle services and full board meals. Depending on one’s budget, surely in Boracay, accommodation will never be a problem.

The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak. These are the 3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay. Coconut trees are the usual sight with vendors of bracelets and necklaces made of shells and semi precious stones. The island is under the administrative control of the Philippine Tourism Authority in coordination with the Provincial Government of Aklan.

With the overgrowing population and becoming the main tourist destination in Asia and vacationers from all around the Philippines, Municipality of Malay with over 24,000 in population, the statistics for the year 2000 is now under the public eye not because of the beach but because of the pending approval to implement a Casino.

From dated March 13, 2011, “Municipal councilor Jonathan Cabrera, chairman of the council’s committee on good government and member of the committee on tourism, games and amusement, said the operation of the casino in Boracay would bring additional revenues that could fund basic services and projects for residents.
He said the town’s budget for 2011 amounting to P185 million is enough only for the operations and maintenance expenses of the municipal government.
There is a need to generate more revenues for livelihood projects, health services, infrastructure and equipment, he added.”
For three days of randomly selected interviews in the island, most of the Aklanos disagrees with the proposal of putting up a casino. These are the following reasons and issues:
·         Diversion of salary from family to gambling
·         If there will be gambling, it will be followed by illegal drugs
·         Tourist went to Boracay for the beach not for the casinos

The residents and workers also said that there’s a signature campaign that is already done against the implementation of casino. The Malay municipal council last Jan. 25 endorsed a proposal of the CariƱo Development Management Corp. to build a casino at the posh 120-hectare Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club at the northern end of the island. Up to this day, the proposal is pending because of the opposition which is where the church leaders are in frontlines.

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