Presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo opposed the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) bill proposal.
Robredo assured various stakeholders that she is not amenable to the proposed creation of a corporate-based body that will manage the world-famous Boracay Island. She also noted that this congressional bill ignored the sentiments of local businesses, residents, officials, and the church.
“Dahil kayo nakakaalam ng isyu, hindi pwede ipasa sa Kongreso at maging batas yung BIDA bill na hindi kayo pinapakinggan,” Robredo said while she was at Boracay Island today, February 16.
(Since you are all familiar with the issue, this BIDA bill should not be passed by Congress and made into law when you all have not been heard.)
Under the BIDA Bill, a proposed government-owned and controlled corporation shall manage, develop, operate, preserve, and rehabilitate the Boracay Island Development Zone, which shall include the entirety of Boracay Island and surrounding islets including Barangay Caticlan.
She also said that BIDA must first undergo consultation with the locals before it will be passed as a bill.
While Robredo agrees with Boracay stakeholders, that there should be a regulatory tourism authority, it should not be made into a business that only the national government can benefit from but also look into locals’ concerns.
Since before, the BIDA bill was strongly opposed by the majority of local businesses, local officials, the religious sector, and Boracay residents, saying it might cause tourism overdevelopment.
Aside from Robredo, Senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso aslo oppose BIDA.
While in Boracay, Robredo also met with the Ati indigenous peoples (IPs). She said that the Ati IPs, who have been marginalized by Boracay’s tourism boom, were one of the last few groups her husband, former secretary Jesse Robredo, saw before his death in a plane crash in August 2012.