SENSE of ultimate responsibility and other reasons Boracay stakeholders and investors consider valid and compelling, have forced Mayor Ceciron “Dodong” Cawaling of Malay, Aklan to personally take over the management of Boracay Island.
Boracay Island forms part of Malay, Aklan. With its powdery white sand beaches that remain cool to one’s bare feet even in blistering summer. It was discovered by an American on location shooting for his post WWII Hollywood movie in the Philippines. It has since become a world tourism jewel and has earned superlative accolades like “Island Tourism Paradise in the Pacific.”
The rapidly increasing tourists’ surge to Boracay seemed too much for the past unified tourism management of its three barangays. This compelled newly returned Mayor Cawaling to abolish the position of Boracay Administrator and personally took over management with the support of his staff officials.
The Mayor and his men thus now take care of Boracay’s peace and order, basic services delivery, and security for its thousands of tourists. As one observer puts it, “Cawaling has no choice since ultimately the burden of stewardship over Boracay rests with him and primary stakeholders including foreign and local investors, infrastructure developers, and others who thrive on its tourism industry.”
Interestingly, Mayor Cawaling and his officials also often double as events managers, taking lead roles in such tasks as package tours, provision of transportation and crowd control.
“Tourism has opened our once obscure and off-the-way jewels of nature. With visitors coming in droves from near and far, we now enjoy a better economic outlook for our communities and people. This windfall and its life-changing developments, however, also demands the involvement of our people,” Cawaling notes.
He regularly reminds Boracay folks to cooperate in such vital concerns as sanitary garbage disposal, sewerage and sewage facilities and efficient communication network which now merit priority attention. Malay’s tourism program also includes sustained orientation initiatives among residents and the various sectors on tourism-related concerns.
The Malay government has recently launched its mangrove and protection program, as part of the national government efforts to rehabilitate and strengthen bio-diversity especially in coastal communities.
“It’s not just tourism. As important is the viability of indispensable elements that make things work and ultimately be beneficial to our people. This is our main concern, without which, even our most beautiful tourism gems cannot last,” Cawaling stressed. (Johnny Dayang)