AKLAN – Despite the opposition of local and some national government officials, different groups, and personalities, the BIDA Bill was approved, on the second reading, by the House of Representatives last August 4.
As one of Duterte’s priority legislations, the BIDA Bill aims to establish the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) as a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).
According to BAYAN Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, the establishment of the BIDA corporation will negatively affect the residents and the local small-scale businesses in Boracay. Once approved, BIDA corporation will have the authority and power to “contract, lease, buy, sell acquire, own, or dispose real property whatever nature”. This is also one of the reasons why Senator Leila de Lima opposes the approval of the said bill.
In addition, Zarate states that there are several senators who fear that the bill would further open the island of Boracay to the control of large corporations and foreign investors.
According to BAYAN Aklan, the approval of the BIDA Bill on the second reading despite public opposition is a manifestation of the Duterte administration’s desperation to control Boracay. BAYAN Aklan adds that the establishment of BIDA would remove the power and authority of the LGU to manage the island, which is a violation of the Philippine Constitution and the Local Government Code.
Aklan 1st District Representative Carlito Marquez has also submitted a withdrawal of his support due to the outcry of different stakeholders in Aklan who have expressed their opposition to the bill./PT