MANILA - As Boracay grapples with wastewater pollution, tourism authorities should promote the beaches of northern Aklan and nearby Carabao Island as alternatives to the world famous destination, an urban planner said Sunday.
"Maganda rin 'yung mainland Aklan e. Marami ding beach doon, tapos Carabao island, we need some planning also there," Architect Jun Palafox told DZMM radio.
"If it's possible lagyan ng cable cars, interconnect them para hindi na lahat Boracay," Palafox said as he bemoaned what he said was improper development of Boracay.
Palafox said that as early as 1991, he had already made recommendations about how Boracay should be developed, but these were largely ignored. The architect did not elaborate on his suggestions.
The Department of Tourism had said a large number of establishments in the island drained their sewage directly into the sea. Of the 150 Boracay business establishments recently inspected by the government, only 25 were connected to the sewerage line.
Many establishments were also building too close to the beach and were even crowding into the roads of the 1,000-hectare (2,470-acre) island, the agency said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to "close" Boracay island amid wastewater contamination of its beaches and coastal waters.
Palafox said that it was not too late to correct the mistakes in the development of Boracay, but also warned that other tourist destinations seemed to be following in the steps of the tourist hotspot.
"Some of our islands nire-repeat yung mistake ng Boracay, kagaya ng cities sa provinces nire-repeat ang mistakes ng Metro Manila," Palafox said.