Malay local gov't lays down Boracay 'tropical design' guidelines

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2019 02:47 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2019 03:51 PM

A restaurant resumes operations on Boracay on Oct. 26, 2018 following the island's 6-month closure for rehabilitation. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File

BORACAY - The local government of Malay, Aklan has created a committee to review plans and designs for structures on this renowned beach paradise in a bid to ensure compliance with a standard "tropical design" and environmental regulations.

Executive Order No. 10, dated March 19, 2019 and recently signed by Acting Malay Mayor Abram Sualog​, orders the creation of the Municipal Planning and Urban Design Guidelines Review Committee (MPUDGRC).

The body is mandated to review plans for the construction of new structures or renovations to be done on buildings in Boracay, as well as inspect the progress of developments to ensure that they follow the island's "tropical design" rules.

It also has the power to decide whether proposals are to be issued development permits or denied due to non-compliance with government guidelines.

"The committee is mandated to show that the design is in alignment with our mission to make a new design brand in Boracay, which is 'tropical'," said Alfredo Orolfo, Deputy Ground Commander of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (DENR) Task Force Boracay.

According to the document obtained by ABS-CBN News, the tropical design guidelines for Boracay aims to ensure that new developments and renovations to be done on existing buildings are environment-friendly, promote sustainable architecture, and reflect local culture.

It said the design guide aims to "enhance the image of Boracay as a tropical island paradise to showcase the local culture and products."

It cited the "urgent need to strictly enforce the New Zoning Ordinance and the Planning and Urban Design Guidelines to all on-going and future construction and developments on the island."

It emphasizes the use of wood, bamboo, "stone elements," non-combustible thatched roofing, and earth-tone colors as exterior and interior paint for structures.

It also calls for the integration of design elements such as large windows to allow for natural lighting and cooling, high ceilings for better air circulation, tropical elements in building entrances, and landscaped areas with local trees and plants.

The guidelines also require the use of ancient script Baybayin as the main language for signages, with translations in English and other languages as needed.

The guidelines were issued a few months after the reopening of the island paradise in October. It was shut down for six months last year for rehabilitation, after President Rodrigo Duterte sounded the alarm on environment degradation and overdevelopment on the island.