General Admission

Why not also a ‘Boracay/Manila Bay’ spin at Lingayen Gulf?

By Al S. Mendoza

THE so-called political will showed its true face with the recent Boracay rehabilitation.

Without mercy at that.

For, that is the real nature of political will: It defies the odds come hell or high water.

When Digong ordered Boracay closed for six months last year, many raised a howl.

But, of course.

The howling, wailing and crying were mostly from the wealthy who were directly hit by Digong’s decree.

Lost almost when the rehab job was on is an income to the tune of P6 billion.

Not only were the businessmen’s coffers hurt but also their structures not built according to specs.

Many establishments had been found guilty by the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) of  improperly dispensing their wastes.

Grotesquely, many sewage receptacles found their way into the Boracay waters known globally as a consistent Top 10 tourist destination.

Harsh penalties followed suit.

As many as about 6,000 workers had been displaced by the Boracay closure.

But amid the crisis, good deeds also came to the fore.

Many of those who lost their jobs at Boracay’s restaurants, bars and hotels were absorbed by San Miguel Corp., hiring them at its subsidiaries erected nearby, like the airport at Caticlan.

Their employment was only on a temporary basis, but then, it had helped them  “through the night.”

Six months after the rehabilitation, a brand-new Boracay greeted the world with glee.

Workers were back.

It’s business as usual.

Everybody happy.

And to add to the success of the Boracay make-up, Digong distributed government lands to the island’s long-displaced minorities who are mostly Aetas.

Not for long after Boracay’s reopening last October, the beach was back to its perch as one of the world’s top tourist spots.

All, because of political will in play to the fullest.

Perhaps, elated by this tremendous achievement, Digong would next zero in on Manila Bay, the long abandoned beauty whose neglect has virtually put it to its death throes.

In no time, Digong ordered the massive rehab of Manila Bay, unleashing a budget of P42.95 billion to accomplish the project in three years.

What Digong had just done, no president since the end of World War II has ever done.

You might not have realized it yet but with the ongoing Manila Bay rehab, it goes  without saying that all the Pasig River tributaries in Metro Manila will also be cleaned-up, dredged and resuscitated.

For, the Manila Bay rehab won’t mean a thing if the Pasig River isn’t part of the overall project. 

All of Pasig River’s waters flow into Manila Bay.

And now this:  When will we see the shoreline of Lingayen Gulf rehabilitated, too—from San Fabian to Bolinao?

If Guv Pogi has started pencil-pushing on this, cheers.

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