KALIBO, Aklan – In Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address which happened last July 26, Akeanons and progressive groups called for the junking of the proposed BIDA Bill as well as the formation of a Boracay Island Development Authority. The groups put up streamers with the calls “No to Bida!”, calling for the junking of said bill which would only result in the displacement and unemployment of the locals and workers in Boracay Island.
Under the government’s proposed plan, they would be putting up a government-controlled corporation or a GOCC under the name ‘Boracay Island Development Authority’ which would then handle the management of the island of Boracay. This is one of the priority bills that were highlighted by Duterte during his then State of the Nation Address last 2020.
The local government of Aklan also expressed their dissent over the government’s proposal as that would lead to them having no authority over the island of Boracay.
According to Kim Sin Tugna of Bayan Aklan, the BIDA Bill aims to make Boracay Island an exclusive zone for the elites and for foreign businesses and companies. The national government wants to control all socio-economic activities in the Island, Tugna adds. Tugna also emphasizes that this is in line with the closure of Boracay island last 2018 which was a prelude to opening the island to multinational businesses. BAYAN Aklan also stated that the majority of the land in Boracay is now owned by foreign investors and soon will be occupied by a Chinese-owned casino.
Bayan Aklan urges all Akeanons to remain steadfast in calling for the junking of the proposed bill.
Last July 15, in a joint committee meeting in the House of Representatives, the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization as well as the Committee on Local Government approved the BIDA Bill or House Bill 6214./PT