Putting some order to Boracay

Boracay. [Photo by DENR via PhilStar]

By Joe America

Boracay has become a political potato, hot to the touch. I’ve not aligned with any view because I think it is not as simple as people are making it. I’d like to organize my own thinking. Out loud. Here.

You can then offer additional insights and information in the discussion that follows.

Disclosure: I’ve never been to Boracay, but I live on an aspiring resort isle that I suspect would love to have a casino.

Is a casino good or bad?

The Philippines needs all the economy it can generate to rise out of relentless poverty. The nation has casinos across the nation, widely accepted as a form of commerce, without prejudice as to the drugs and prostitutes that opponents say accompany them. I believe most of the larger casinos are owned and managed by Chinese interests, and cater in a major way to Chinese gamblers and tourists.

A casino would make Boracay richer . . . if . . . if . . . employees are Filipino, substantial profits and taxes are retained locally, and local laws and enforcement protect the environment, control traffic, and limit social ills (drugs, etc).

There is almost always a natural objection to such a huge intrusion locally, abbreviated NIMBY, or “not in my back yard”. People live where they live because they like it the way it is. They want the gamechangers built somewhere else. There is also a ‘Luddite syndrome”, when traditions are endangered by modern ways.

But Boracay is already a destination for fun in the sun, and well-developed. A large new casino could be complementary to that attraction. It could be an add-on, not a takeaway.

Who is in the best position to make the call? National government or local government?

Local government.

Is a Chinese casino good or bad?

If the casino were proposed by Australian, Japanese, or American backers, would we look at it differently?

Yes, because there is a bigger trust factor and we’d expect them to hire Filipinos. That is not the case with China, which seems to follow an ethno-centric business model.

Why are these other nations not proposing a casino?

Because the most attractive regional market is Chinese gamblers, and, especially, high-rollers. The other nations have no chops in China, so to speak. The math doesn’t work out for them as it does for Chinese developers.

So the decision boils down to, do we want the economic boost or not?

I’d say “yes”, if the casino results in local taxes or profits, local ownership, local employment, and local mitigation of environmental, traffic, and social impacts. But if the local leaders say “no”, the answer ought to be “no”.

Why are national agencies suddenly so heavy-handed?

It is peculiar that every national agency with legal oversight in Boracay came down on the locals so brutally, proposing to shut down the community, a measure that would force businesses to close and put 36,000 workers out of jobs. This all happened in a matter of weeks.

Pollution in Boracay is like traffic in Manila. It’s an outgrowth of economic success and poor government work, both nationally and locally.

How about closing down greater Manila until the streets are rebuilt?

The heavy-handed “national solution” in Boracay seems the opposite of the federalist agenda that is currently being peddled as empowering local communities and regions. I suspect the marketing of federalism is a huge lie and Boracay is EXACTLY the way federalism will work. National will be leaner and meaner and control the cudgels of power. Local communities will be empowered ONLY if they abide by the national agenda. Rather the way China works today. Same model.

My solution to this would be to recognize Boracay for what it is, a case of National economic and political brutality and a demonstration that federalist ideals are a lie. Then I’d set out to vote down federalism and vote the federalists out of power. I’d return oversight control of casinos to local governments with national agencies operating as cooperative advisers rather than adversaries.

In other words, DO Federalism, under existing LGU codes and a few new laws.

Summary of takeaways

  • A casino would enhance the Boracay economy if risks are properly mitigated.
  • A Chinese casino in Boracay ought not be permitted without local concurrence and oversight.
  • Federalism should be voted down and federalists should be voted out of power.

 

Comments
93 Responses to “Putting some order to Boracay”
  1. arlene says:

    The word is a big IF Joeam. Can we expect something concrete from the government for the good of every Filipino?

  2. karlgarcia says:

    The interagency taskforce can only recommend, they can’t implement.
    Need I say more?
    yes.

    It still neededNeda approval, then it has to go to bidding, etc etc
    Then anomaly happens then it will have a senate investigation……..

    that six months will become six years if not sixty.

    Marawi has barely started rehabilitating.

    About the lost jobs.

    They can participate on build program.
    That is if the Chinese would not bring their own workers and if the locals will allow outsiders(from other licalities ) to eork.

    Casinos…..Is that the real reason for the closure and not the sewage system?

    Metro Manila has worse problems when it comes to sewage.

    There are places who dor not want to be served by Maynilad or Manila water and the mayor can’t fo a thing.

    Some septic tanks ate covered by cement how can they be cleaned.

    If it is a problem here, then it is a nationwide problem.

    • Haha, thanks for saying more. I think you have captured all Philippine development headaches in one posting.

    • There are those who say Marawi looks very Nice already: 😀

      https://pinoyakoblog.com/blog/nakakabobong-fake-news/

    • Boracay Eco Watch says:

      I’m not sure but I think the bidding process can be omitted when a state of calamity has been declared. Maybe other steps on your list can also be fast tracked like this.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks, allow me to dig in, here are the provisions.

        RA 10121 Section 17(c): “Programming/reprogramming of funds for the repair and safety upgrading of public infrastructures and facilities.”

        RA 7160: “Automatic appropriation is available for unforeseen expenditures arising from the occurrence of calamities in areas declared to be in a state of calamity.”

        RA 7160: “Local government units may enact a supplemental budget for supplies and materials or payment of services to prevent danger to or loss of life or property.”

        Section 321: “A supplemental budget may also be enacted in times of public calamity by way of budgetary realignment to set aside appropriations for the purchase of supplies and materials or the payment of services which are exceptionally urgent or absolutely indispensable to prevent imminent danger to, or loss of, life or property, in the jurisdiction of the local government unit or in other areas declared by the President in a state of calamity.”
        Section 324(d): “Five percent (5%) of the estimated revenue from regular sources shall be set aside as an annual lump sum appropriation for unforeseen expenditures arising from the occurrence of calamities: Provided, however, that such appropriation shall be used only in the area, or a portion thereof, of the local government unit or other areas declared by the President in a state of calamity.”

        • karlgarcia says:

          Human induced hazard can make the current situation in Bora qualify as a calamity.

          ___
          Section 3 of Republic Act 10121, known as the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010,” defines a State of Calamity as “a condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of natural or human-induced hazard.”

        • karlgarcia says:

          First I have to admit that I only knew that a state of calamity was declared in Boracay when I read your post.
          But upon further reading, I don’t know if things can be fast tracked with the given procurement modalities.

          It will still take time.
          Imagine the Emergency room.

          I tried avoiding mentioning Yolanda, but I refuse to put all the blame on the Aquino admin, but the current admin’s task force on Yolanda is only proving the difficulties even under a state of calamity.

          I will still reiterate Marawi, it is yet to receive all the equipment it needs.

          Anyways, here are the procurement modalities in case of emergencies.

          http://www.gppb.gov.ph/downloadables/INFORMATION%20ON%20PROCUREMENT%20MODALITIES.pdf

          Things to note.
          Even if bidding is suspended, the suppliers must still be reputable and negotiations and haggling still happens to ensure that it is advantageous to the government.

          • Pablo says:

            Government bidding is notoriously slow and inefficient and no project is delivered one-time, on budget and on-spec. So, make it private projects. With private financing. In a profitable environment of resorts and now even a casino, it should be easy to arrange for that. All it needs is determination, imagination, flexibility and integrity. 4 things which all have proven lacking. So…. prepare for a long shutdown or (more likely) a situation where little changed after 6 months….

  3. Coolasas says:

    At the start of the Boracay saga I was all for renewing the environment, enforcing environmental law and yes even closure if it is what it takes to get the job done and set everything back to its former glory (which is of course impossible). Not that I am impressed with the way Duterte worded his admonision calling it a cesspool was really too much to my liking.
    Until the story of the casino floated. That changed everything I was hoping for. Suddenly the balloon of hope deflated. Here we go again … the real story is unraveling as to why the president started focusing on Boracay, it is to give way to the Chinese business again! And like what you said it could work if Filipinos will have a big hand when it starts to lay down the ground work and on running it. But as expreience had shown me it will never happen especially now that it seems the government is ready to lick a&% to get in their good side and claim its good for the Filipino people.
    I just hope the local government would be strong enough to assert its position to stop whatever is happening but that is like me asking for sunshine at the height of signal numbeer 3.

  4. Vicara says:

    Boracay as the alleged “crown jewel” of Philippine tourism would mean a catastrophic loss in terms of local livelihood, should it be shut down for a year, but it’s been an ecological disaster a couple of decades in the making, as well as a human health hazard, with stratospheric levels of EColi in those waters lapping at fake beaches. The fault lies almost entirely with feckless local government and hotel operators (especially the ones who could well afford to install proper sanitation and wastewater facilities–but didn’t–thus adding to the filth while raking in tourist currency).

    Don’t shut Boracay down for a year; but yes, give this sewage trap to some shady Chinese outfit, by all means. This would at least distract that one from getting its clutches on the truly beautiful places in the Philippines, which should be open to tourism investors who follow strict government guidelines on employing a large proportion of Filipinos at all levels, from groundskeepers to managers. And who follow environmental standards.

    The mess that is Boracay has been noted by LGUs and developers other Philippine regions. That’s why upmarket resort chains are now looking elsewhere. And why local governments are anxious to avoid replicating the mistakes made.

    Gamblers arriving en masse should be “balkanized” in the MOA area or similar. Let’s not waste pristine scenery on them. It’s not what they’re looking for, after all. They just want to hit the tables ASAP. And let’s not waste either any opportunity to provide employment for Filipinos, either.

    Case in point: that massive all-PRC casino up north (take a guess as to which Filipino brought them in) where everyone down to the dishwashers and sweepers is a citizen of China.

    • It would be nice to look at the business models of those casinos and what, exactly, are the ancillary benefits to the Philippines. What are tax revenues? How many Filipinos are employed. Rappler should do that, or PCIJ.

      • Vicara says:

        Yes. I seem to recall seeing an Economist article a few years ago which listed the average amounts spent per day by visiting foreign gamblers in Manila–not just on the tables, but on shopping, dining and other tourist pursuits. Biggest spenders were the Japanese. PRC citizens spent least.

    • How can an outfit that employs only Chinese be in line with Philippine labor laws? Strange.

      Well, the Spaniards also had their quarrels with Adelson / Euro Vegas who wanted to have exemptions on labor union laws. And EU anti-smoking laws. No pasaran was the answer.

  5. josephivo says:

    Tragedy of the commons and rent.

    If one sari-sari in the Philippines makes 1000 peso a day, you’ll see the next day two new sari-sari’s one to the left and one to the right and then more at the opposite site of the street until all profitability is gone. Typical example of the tragedy that happens when resources are limited and everybody has access. Boracay is another one, the beauty of the island is common/“public” but dependents on many factors as population density, physical pollution, visual pollution…

    Standard solutions to prevent a common’s tragedy:
    – Strong communities. In Switzerland some common grazing grounds exist since the middle ages and are still productive. If people know each other well and are deeply interconnected, common sense can control competition
    – Regulation. The (local or national) authorities can set rules to control the exploitation of the limited resources.
    – Privatization. Make a private entity totally responsible for the resources. In this case it is important to internalizing externalities, not only the “benefits” should be privatized but also the “burdens” as pollution, marketing, access roads…

    Problems:
    – For Boracay it is too late to put all authority in the hands of the traditional datus of the island and their families. The community is now a agglomerate of relentless developers, some with Chinese entanglements.
    – The Philippines is a “rent” country. Regulations used to create additional profits, profits that would not occur on flat playing fields. Knowing the one who signs the permit is more important than complying with the regulations. The cleaning up closure as a way to extort money?

    • LGU’s are incompetent. That is my takeway from Boracay. They don’t even know how to polish the jewels when they become rich.

      • josephivo says:

        My prognosis is bleak. The “community” solution will not work as you said, LGU’s incompetent. . Regulation will not work as it did not work anywhere in the Philippines. The only hope is a real estate association (working behind the screens?), but privatization always is privatization of the benefits, the tax payer responsible for all the burdens.

        Investigative journalists, follow the money!!!

      • I think the 1991 Local Government Code gave them too much autonomy, more than they were ready for. Before that it was the President could remove any Mayor, even Governor or school principal at will – Quezon did that often. Possibly they knew why it was needed?

        Jesse Robredo instituted LGPMS, a performance measurement system for LGUs, something Mar Roxas continued. As a former mayor he knew his business well.

        I used to be pro-federalism until I realized what kind of a mess things are on the ground.

        Probably there has to be a reform of the LGC to make monitoring of LGUs mandatory. During Roxas’ time it was by withholding funding if they didn’t make the LGPMS, which if it is true probably earned him the hatred of many a mayor, knowing “Pinoy Petulance”.

        Thing is, how do you strengthen civic spirit in communities – something which real federalism or communal autonomy is supposed to be about? There are relatively strong communities like Naga, Iloilo, Cebu – but also weak-bonded places like Manila, Davao..

        • “During Roxas’ time it was by withholding funding if they didn’t make the LGPMS, which if it is true probably earned him the hatred of many a mayor, knowing “Pinoy Petulance”.”

          Thus we see the headwind that decent efforts to build something in the Philippines faces.

    • NHerrera says:

      A CONSEQUENCE OF A COUNTRY WHERE GOVERNMENT’S PREOCCUPATION IS POLITICS

      The potential tragedy of the commons abound in all countries. In developed countries it is just a potential because regulations and mitigating measures are done well ahead.

      Our offices and schools are certainly well equipped to use good data to project the future. And countries such as Japan, through its JICA have helped in the studies. But PH’s business is politics mainly, relegating to the background what should be dealt with early enough.

      The tragedy is that the consequences in total cost including opportunity cost when the problem is finally tackled — or begin to be tackled — is many times over what would have been if done earlier. And when it is finally being tackled, politicians are in the show again!

      (By the way, in a general sense of the concept of the tragedy of the commons, I find EDSA and the whole NCR as illustrative of the tragedy of the commons.)

    • Switzerland… yes, the “Alm”, the grazing grounds. The centuries-old traditions of Almauftrieb (sending the cows up in spring, will probably be soon) and Almabtrieb (sending the cows down in fall, with the cow bells ringing through the village). Swiss milk to cheese, chocolate..

      I know a Swiss man of Sicilian descent, he told me how his father applied for citizenship for himself and his family – and the village assembly voted on it. You have to be really a part of the community before getting the papers that you belong. It stays pretty much close-knit.

      Regulation – works only if those who regulate have a similar spirit as the Swiss communities. Bavaria for example may not be as traditional as Switzerland, but those in charge, no matter what their political party is, have a similar mindset. Bavarians say “mir san mir” = we are us.

      Privatization – the typical Filipino solution to things, as the selfishness is too great for anything else to prosper for long. Private subdivisions with private sikyos. Private schools. Private malls instead of nice city centers where you can walk. Public means kaput.

      Even private water supply in Manila. In Germany the contrast in water quality between Berlin (privatized water) and Munich (public water from near the Alps, even cow grazing is limited in the source areas to keep our water clean) is already marked. What more in Manila?

      EDSA – who built that public resource? The route dates back to a true visionary – Quezon. Just like a large part of the structure of government machinery. The rest seems like squatters who built their stuff around an old, slowly rotting mansion. Hate the analogy, but isn’t it true?

      • Francis says:

        Filipinos don’t pay much heed to building institutions whether the “formal” ones with mottos, organizational charts and logos—or the “informal” ones that revolve around shared practices, the “intuition” and “what comes naturally to” groups of people in society.

        Duterte says he wants to restore discipline to this country. He should start with himself—be disciplined enough to restrain himself, to give space for institutions to reform and mature. That is how you build state capacity, state power, state competence.

        A good critique of this thing called “Duterte strongman rule” is to call it out for what it is: a half-baked, sorry replica of the East Asian developmental state that people so lavishly praise.

        The thing about the East Asian developmental states is that—with the possible exception of LKY and Singapore—taking out whoever was President or Prime Minister, assuming they kept the system, wouldn’t impact the system. They worked despite their strongmen—not necessarily because of their strongmen.

        To paraphrase Clinton, “It’s institutions, stupid!”

        He will make the illusion of a “strong republic” (as Ma’am Gloria would put it) in the short-run, but all these populist “papansin” actions will result in an even weaker PH state. Toss in Federalism, and you might as well gut the whole damned thing.

        We are devolving into a datu-ship, and are in threat of devolving into datu-ships.

        • Recently Duterte said he never read the ICC law: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/165229/duterte-rome-statute-never-read-law

          That reminds me of a Pinoy in an overseas association who disputed a decision made in a previous meeting with the following argument “eh wala naman ako doon sa miting na iyon!”.

          Duterte is simply the true nature of the Filipino coming out. One could say it started coming out in the time of Erap.

          If you cast away the rests of colonial teachings and institutions, you should have your own to replace them or revive what you had before – if it wasn’t too long ago to remember.

          If all you have is “basta iyon ang gusto ko” and “basta ayoko sino kayo para pilitin ako” all you have is kindergarten at a high level: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/a-concerted-effort-against-him/

          ..There are pressures to be biased. There was even once a Filipino overseas association where the clique of its President tried to pressure him to rig a raffle so they could win the main prize. There can be enormous petulance and even a sense of being treated unfairly if one is not favored..

          Possibly not much different from their President in showing (link) “gross indifference, insensitivity and self-centeredness”. One only needs to look at the dirt in most Philippine urban waters – notable exceptions like Iloilo City prove the rule. Or also a “grandiose sense of self-entitlement” – or what do barangay councilors have who build their houses on allotted green spaces as I recently read? Or wang-wang convoys, or counterflowing drivers. My way or the highway. Sing My Way the wrong way and you might even get killed. When is the point reached where society barely exists and most people act in an antisocial way? Rule of law becomes a farce the moment everybody cheats, from top to bottom. Where the call for violent solutions is sheer desperation. That all did not happen overnight. A society where people become ruthless, ready to “violate the rights and feelings of others” (also in Duterte’s psychological report) may already have started to develop in times when people laughed at a child made to dance ridiculously at Wowowee. It may have been there when people took smiling pictures of themselves in front of the bus where Hongkong tourists were killed.

          The roots of it may even go as far back to people reelecting known rapists like Mayor Sanchez and Governor Jalosjos. There is not necessarily ruthlessness there, but indifference that tolerates evil. Or that accepts evil as good if it is for one’s own convenience

          • Then there is Trump and his sex scandals. It’s intense. Democrats are looking forward to the next election with Republicans twisting slowly slowly in the wind if they do nothing about it.

          • Francis says:

            The only major “institution” that would have been sufficiently “rational-legal” in Weber’s books would have been (was—maybe: Marcos gutted a lot of the apolitical tendencies of our professional military) the PMA.

            The problem, I suppose, with our programs to train the police (PNPA) as well the various programs we use to train bureaucrats is that they lack the gravitas, the espirit de corp of the PMA such that they so easily succumb to our clannish culture. The PMA succeeded because it broke down class, clan and regional ties under the “foreign implanted culture” of a “professional” military.

            I would suggest similar institutions for our civillian elite, to repair this societal weakness in the medium term.

  6. Yvonne says:

    Bohol, Palawan, and other areas in Southern Philippines have long been targeted by Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups. At some points kidnapping, or attempted kidnappings, for ransom of foreigners have so alarmed the international community that countries like the U.S., U.K. and Australia travel advisories on the area.

    Make no mistake about it – a new world-class casino designed to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers to Boracay will be a magnet that will also attract Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups. Do the casino investors and its would-be operator have any idea how they will secure Boracay from potential terrorist attacks? And do they have a glimpse of the magnitude of the tourism and economic collapse of Boracay if just one bloody terrorist attack is carried out?

  7. chemrock says:

    “The heavy-handed “national solution” in Boracay seems the opposite of the federalist agenda that is currently being peddled as empowering local communities and regions.”

    As I was following this saga, that was exactly my thought.

    The financial cost to the business community is huge. Extend this down the supply chain all the way to Kalibo and Caticlan.

    36,000 families of employees working there will be without livelihood for 1 year. Add to this the numerous employees of the supply chain who will most likely loose their jobs too.

    Doesnt anybody in Malacanang consider all this? No contrarian views exist? Even if the intent was really to clean up the cesspool there ought to be some means to mitigate the suffering of the people.

    This admin has a scorched earth approach to solving problems or getting what they want. It’s the masochistic effect. The Boracay saga adds one further notch to the uncertainty factor in doing business in Philippines. One day you are in next day you are out. My 2 cents worth is that it will be a Trumpish affair. Impose huge tariffs on steel. After the chest thumping, comes the exemptions, and Canada breathes again. In Boracay let’s wait and see Senator Villar lobby for her company’s projects.

    As to the viability of the Chinese project, I won’t be too optimistic. Casinos make most of their money from high rollers. These group of people travel round the world to play. To these people comfort and convenience are top priorities. They don’t bother with your scenic beauties or beaches. I’m wondering would they bother to take a flight from Manila to Karibo, take a 45 minutes van ride to Caticlan jetty, take a ferry ride, take another van to the hotel. Or a shorter way by Manila fly direct to Caticlan, that is if they don’t mind a frightful trip in a small turbo plane.

  8. Spain refused the Eurovegas offer near Madrid. They didn’t want their youth to be corrupted.

    Good that there are societies that still think of their future not just easy money today.

  9. Pablo says:

    Several interesting points.
    Yes, I have been to Boracay several times, first 28 years ago, then again 3 years ago. It was not a pretty change. I would not go diving there anymore. All nature loving people have gone, the party lovers have taken over..

    First “Local Government”.
    That lost all credibility. the whole SB and management. “environmental fees were collected (besides many more fees and taxes) but as you have seen, nothing was implemented effectively, the mayor was put on a sideline ( I wonder why, maybe some problems??? sarcasm…) but the whole SB and management has been involved. None of the laws have been implemented, Waste, water, planning,traffic, you name it, it was all used as a means to collect money, not to improve the island. As a result, the island suffered, from a picturesque place, it became a place where you can booze, dance, party. Nature lovers and divers have mostly disappeared, the island is on it’s way to become like a desert. Like Las Vegas, where you hang around the pool, drink and in a while also can gamble. And all the while, the poperty owners did very well selling and trading their patches. So, Duterte was right, you cannot trust the locals government, so you have to do something different, so he called in the DENR and others. They would solve the problem, right?

    National Departments.
    Only problem is that DENR is part of the problem. They have not implemented the laws for which they were responsible. Only selectively. Contrary to the local govenrment (which can claim ignorance because they just are ‘local’) the national departments know it very well that they failed, They have had all the seminars, they went from location to location. But hey, they got the message when Gina was booted out of the DENR: “Don’t rock the boat otherwise you are in problems” So, can you blame a relatively simple DENR official when even Gina could not stay inside, in spite of all her wealth and connections… So, what do the national departments do? They say Yes, Sir, 3 bags full, Sir, whatever you say Sir. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE ANYWAY.

    Boracay only?
    You compared it with the traffic in Manila. No Need. Horses for courses. Stay on the subject. Environmental laws in Boracay? Same problem in Manila. Manila bay is a cesspit as well, the rivers are polluted and the air is foul. Buildings have been build along rivers without taking into account the required spacing. EXACTLY as in Boracay. But, ofcourse, we won’t do the same in Manila, right? Why then in Boracay? Well, the departments can show some action (“See, we are doing our job after all”) without getting into real problems. Only a few people in Boracay get problems. like you said, 36000 employees won’t have work. But let’s be honest, 36000 votes while half the nation applauds Duterte for finally cleaning up the mess. As for votes, that is a good trade, Some part of the 36000 votes lost against many more votes gained for showing action. Only, nobody ever asked why only Boracay, why not Manila, why not Cebu, why not the little town next-door??? Why not implement laws which have been approved 15 years ago? Well, THAT is too difficult. Only, it is not like the Drugs thing which is an un-winnable war. Implementing the laws should be easy, but DENR and all the others don’t want it. The Senators don’t want it and Duterte certainly don’t want it because that would upset Filipino’s because “here we do things different, we don’t need all those complicated laws, we just burn our waste and dump the shit in the rivers, just like our parents did, so it must be OK” It would just not be opportunistic to implement the laws country wide and hold the DENR, BFAR, DA etc. etc. etc. accountable. But maybe we can get some sin-offs and places like Bohol and Cebu will clean up their tourist area’s so we can at least keep the income from the Tourists.

    6 months closure?
    I have been a Project engineer and know that 6 months is actually a farce. It takes you 6 months to plan. If I would be able to do whatever I wanted, select my own people and had unlimited resources, then in 6 months, I would still not be able to clean up the mess. Laying pipes, building a wastewater system, getting a solid waste system in place, etc. etc. Impossible. And everybody knows it, but is unwilling to stick out their necks… But it would be interesting to follow the money trail. Simple slogan which is always valid: “It’s all about the money, stupid!” Who owns the resorts, who has money invested in there? It could be a very interesting exercise, you could see that some rich and powerful people have invested in there. Probably not the friends of RD. It could be an interesting outcome. Good way to checkmate some people because if you have invested heavily and no income for 6 months, guess what is going to happen? The few who have done a good job (YES, they are there), they have invested heavily in auxiliary systems like waste and water, they will be extra hard hit, because they still will have to pay their mortgage on those investments, but have no income…. So, 6 months closure seems opportunistic for a reason.. What exactly, time may tell.

    A Casino??
    Come-on. A big casino on a small island. What are the people going to do? Swim? Dive? Sail? Unlikely….., they want to gamble. And a casino is a very heavy environmental load. Transport, food, waste, you name it. 25 hectares on a small island? Why???? WHY????? Bring-in all these employees, all the required support systems? Where are they going to live?? In what toilet are they going to do their things (and where is that all going??) Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert. That makes much more sense. Lots of space, if you want more employees, you build more houses for them. If you want another wastewater plant, you build it. Loads of space. And the people only want to lay next to the pool, see a show and gamble, gamble, gamble. Why does that need to be on an island which was already overloaded with tourists? Oh, I guess that some people will make money. The landowners, the people cashing the “fees” and the suppliers of employees and construction boys. They would not like to see that money go to waste to Taal or Cebu mountains or you just name one of thousands more suitable locations? Philippines has so many great locations, right? Find one close by an airport, with sufficient drinking water and sufficient space to build infrastructure and residences for employees. The excuse of “employment” is just an excuse. The same amount of people would be there if they casino would be build on a suitable place. No need to convert Boracay into another Las Vegas with it’s concrete jungle. The attraction was nature, the excuse for shutting it down was “nature” SO: the casino just does not belong there. Full stop.

    Chinese?
    Why not? The place is already taken over by the Chinese. ALL businesses bigger than a Sari-sari store are Chinese (or Filipino-Chinese) in my town and I suppose also in the towns where you live. It seems that Philippines is ready to handover their economy (and thereby their country) to China. Might as well have them run the gambling industry as China and Philippines are world-class in transparent management of big businesses so everything will be honky-dory. No worries. Right?

    It’s about time Philippines make up their mind what they want to do with their nature.
    You can have both sides, the parties and nature. But they don’t combine very well, you have to plan their locations and promote it accordingly. Not happening. We just close the money making businesses, the tourists will be angry and move over to Thailand and Vietnam and find out that they actually get a lot more for their Euro/Dollar. No way they are coming back.

    Doing what we know what to do best: Shooting ourselves in the foot, right?

    • According to Wikipedia, Boracay has 10.32 square km land area = 1032 hectares.

      Still 25 hectares is 1/4 sq km on a small island, meaning a dominating space.

      For comparison, UP Campus Diliman is 493 hectares in size = the island I grew up on.

      Ateneo de Manila Loyola Campus is 83 hectares, 3 times the size of the planned casino.

      Camp Aguinaldo is 178.78 hectares = the island Karl grew up on, not far from mine.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        I think you just mentioned the geographic areas which have the
        most intelligent daytime population in the country. Guess what
        government offices you will not find there.

    • “You can have both sides, the parties and nature. But they don’t combine very well, you have to plan their locations and promote it accordingly. ” Example I know a little bit: Majorca, the Spanish island around half the size of Leyte whose officials get mad if German tabloids call it the 17th state of Germany (which it is in many ways, as Germany lacks its Florida and California) has its party zones: downmarket is Playa de Palma, for the low-budget tourists. Close to the island capital Palma de Mallorca, beach OK but not that important over there. Upmarket is Cala Ratjada, a small port on the other side of the island, meaning it takes time to get from the airport to there. On the Eastern coast, more secluded vacation places for those who want to be away from the crowd, with family or for hiking, boat tours etc. – on the Southeastern coast, Cala Millor and the other, older mass tourist places for budget family vacations. Northern coast either the really elite locations – or the mountains for bike tours. Excellently organized – even if some claim six families still control most of the island today.

      “tourists will be angry and move over to Thailand and Vietnam and find out that they actually get a lot more for their Euro/Dollar. No way they are coming back.” Thailand is highly developed and has never lost its reputation. Vietnam is new but is moving up quickly. The Philippines had a very bad reputation pre-Aquino – for backpack tourists, it was known as a place where you might not come back from, ref. “The Tesseract” by Alex Garland – OR a place for sex tourists only, a reputation Thailand has successfuly managed to shake off. There was a recovery with El Nido and more, but the Philippines is a hard sell over here. Those who go to Asia from Europe HAVE the money to go elsewhere than Majorca or even high-class spot Menorca, or the Greek isles that have become bargains, or Gran Canaria. Even the Dominican Republic or Cuba have become accessible from over here nowadays. Thailand and Vietnam already have the advantage of their own, original cultures which is an important thing for many Europeans, while Filipinos hardly conserve their own monuments.

      • Plus if you want to really be in business with German tourists, you have to be listed by the major package tour operators like TUI and Thomas Cook. My impression was that 80% of tour and airport shuttle buses on Majorca were directly TUI or licensed by TUI.

        Package tour meaning flight plus transfer to hotel – hotel package (breakfast only, half-day meaning breakfast and dinner, daytime is for own tours, full-package for the really lazy) – transfer back to airport, local contact for any issues, insurance and of course guarantees.

        Probably other countries have similar things as well, but the aspect of spending money and wanting to get your money’s worth – and being able to go to court if not – is important over here, so the package tour operators only go where they can control things somewhat.

        Thailand and Indonesia are on the TUI list of countries. Sri Lanka already has been for quite a while. Vietnam and Cambodia I can find looking for Asia in general, even Myanmar, Laos. NOT the Philippines. China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, India – yes.

        Studiosus which offers package tours for the more intellectual crowd (including cultural stuff) lists Myanmar in addition to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia – even Papua New Guinea but NOT the Philippines. Further afield, they list Tonga and Fiji. Even penguin-watching in Antarctica.

    • Istambay sa Kanto says:

      +++1

  10. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Wow, again WOOWWW. I just read the word Casino and HALT,
    I did, to scroll down the last comment, then search my old file
    because I might have written something on it. Here I think
    I found a long one:

    Casino Players Waiting to go Home

    In Atlantic City
    Beloved and I in Resort Tropicana’s bus station
    casino losers and winners waiting to go home
    Bus is yet to come waiting one hour more
    Other people of many climes
    Perhaps losers all, humanity’s microcosm
    in good and bad shape by illness and age,
    Wait with us looking forlorn,
    Cold and weary, being luck’s victim
    Waiting for that bus
    to Cheesequake and New York,
    Longing for the warmth of home.

    In Atlantic City silently watching, waiting
    Beloved and I, with thirty others,
    casino losers and winners waiting to go home
    Sitting in deep contemplation
    Old hand clasping old hand
    Calloused fingers meshed
    In hers still petite, dainty in old age,
    Side by side living life’s leavings,
    Musings of contests won,
    Pining of winnings foregone.

    In Atlantic City
    Oh, Oh, those cold and heavy
    Steel slots like sluts titillate,
    Feigning music, clinking clanging
    forking sixty coins and one-twenty
    seldom in thousands, in millions almost never
    Man knows not but machine knows how
    Sevens, Fruits and Flowers surely come in twos
    While only electronic Lady Luck
    Can tandem them in trios ..
    teasing giving twenties, slapping victims with fifties
    And seventies even hundreds but seldom in thousands
    Never in millions till their credits naught and they’re broke
    For a second breathless, immobile, pensive not in dread
    But hope for another time, of another day,
    Another night perchance to claim victory over machine,
    Merciless, contrived to make bettors bleed, yet cured
    To come again to the jackpots brave.

    In Atlantic City
    Beloved and I, casino losers and winners waiting to go home
    In that beige and green bus station facing Pacific Avenue
    Convenient with Coke, Nescafe, Ice Cream and Doritos machined Vendos,
    Giving cheaper choice competing with woman Java Time Café
    Premium guests, pious bettors seen as young and old,
    Thin and wide, light and heavy, bent and straight, silvered black,
    Blonde and brunette wait their turn for the long ride home
    West to Philly, North to the Big Apple.

    In Atlantic City
    Beloved and I, casino losers and winners waiting to go home
    Still watching bettors walk by looking for empty seats
    Winter garbed in woolens and leathers, but mostly in designer jeans,
    Cane-aided and wheel-chaired, but always with soul mate
    Stooped with backpacks, the strong lugging luggage and cabin bags,
    Rushing to two exits, scampering to eight bus bays.
    Alas! Greyhounds, Academy’s and other tourists’ specials
    Come and leave on time like extended beetles unmindful
    Of the fog and earthlings starting to nap in their bowels.

    In Atlantic City
    Beloved and I, casino losers and winners waiting to go home
    Have three minutes to board in bay four
    Have two hours to nap till Cheesequake

    Ready to smile and tell when we reach home
    The many times we won until
    We and most others longing to go home, lost all.

    April 25, 2010 — from short notes written in
    TROPICANA RESORT BUS STATION IN ATLANTIC CITY
    JANUARY 6, 2005, 5 TO 6 PM

  11. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Ahh, Yes, YESSSS. Hygiene and sanitation of Boracay and may be ALL Tourists’ Resorts in the Philippines, that’s not what it is all about. First and foremost since their time begun, hygiene and sanitation has been needed to sanitize and hygienize the professionals and their agencies entrusted to regulate these health functions.

    • Eps says:

      I was in Boracay over the weekend for a wedding. The sunrise, the sunset, the sand still beatiful, if not breathtaking. But look elsewhere – you see massive commercialization – as well as dystopia. Station 1 with its high-end hotels and on the other side extreme poverty as you’d see from Caticlan jetty as you traverse the too narrow barangay road leading to the stations. It is sad – in its current state.

      Adding casinos wont lift people from poverty. Total shutdown of boracay wont help also. Did the government even think of all people who would lose jobs? The waiters, drivers, minimum wage earners, etc. How will they survive? The resort owners they can survive. But I am afraid the ordinary people living on daily wages will not.

      The vendor I spoke to suggested – he is all for clean up. But has to be gradual such as doing it in phases – like station 1 first, and so forth. But if the real intent of the government is just really to pave the way for entry of Chinese casinos – may God bless Boracay.

  12. chemrock says:

    Following Pablo’s long comment that provides a peek into the crazy way of governance in Philippines, let me share a first hand experience of a business venture in Boracay.

    I went to Philippines supposedly to help out a Spore businessman (lets call him C) who owned a resort in Boracay. My function was basically on the finance side. C apparently was a trail blazer who saw the potential of Boracay long before anyone else. He developed the first proper decent hotel there whereas before, holiday makers had to contend with shanty huts. He was probably the first to introduce timeshare scheme to Philippines. The first 5 years was a tremendous success that allowed him to buy an office in Makati which served as the HQ. The timeshare scheme brought in hundreds of millions of pesos as middle class Filipinos invested readily. Due to various factors which I won’t go into, the business collapsed. I arrived at the scene with no knowledge of the actual situation and lots of crucial info were concealed from me. But it did’nt take me long to realise the status the business was in.

    What I want to share are the crazy events as narrated to me, and some I experienced. First and foremost, C acquired the property in Boracay without direct access. There was some simple arrangement with a couple of local families for right of way. C probably had bad legal advise from the very beginning. The 2 families later maintained that C reneged on his promises under the terms of agreement and that led to serious disputes with law suits, threats, and actions to block the access. Once a shot was fired into C’s office. His visiting family were verbally abused. I soon found cabinets of legal files relating to this land issue.

    Many times the access road was blocked, dismantled, blocked, it went on and on. There was a funny incident when we had a group of European tourists came in and the van could’nt get through the blockade. It was raining and the ground was muddy. Our guys carried the guests, mostly old ladies, piggy back across the blockade to the hotel. I saw some photos and they were ridiculously funny, but I’m sure the guests saw it differently.

    Once there was a very serious blockade. Someone recommended a fixer to solve the proble for C. This fixer was supposedly well-connected (we all heard this before). He was a retired AFP captain. One day he came to HQ and I was introduced to him. He tried to impress me with his weapons. He said he sleeps always with three pistols, one under the pillow, one strapped to his leg, another I had forgotten where. Then he pulled out 2 pistols from his jacket to prove a point. I was tempted to tell him of my military background and that I had handled bigger weapons. His plan was to use a certain general who had troops in the vicinity. They will conduct some training in the area. Under pretext of training, his boys will dismantle the blockade and patrol the area. I asked what happens when the exercise ends? There was no answer. It was’nt my call. C went along with the plan and a fool and his money soon departed.

    Some outlying structures were destroyed by a fire once. Some said it was mischief,some said it was insurance scam. We put in the usual insurance claims and nothing much happened. After some time, another agent took over to assist us. Some fees were agreed upon. Viola we got the insured sum pretty fast, but had to part with half a million pesos to the agent. Not bad for a couple of day’s work for the agent.

    On the banking side, I soon learnt we have been customers of practically all the banks in Makati. There were lots of legal suits and each time C knows of an impending garnishing order, we would transfer all the cash to a new account quickly opened with another bank. I have no idea how C could prophisise a garnishing order. Maybe C stands for Courts.

    C had used a slew of attorneys as there were lots of legal suits. Once I had to deal with an attorney concerning some documents. I was flabbergasted when he taught me how to type out a post fact document, how to age it to look convincing and get it notarised. I wanted no part of that of course. By the time I was there, C was ably assisted by a particular lady attorney. This attorney made lots of trips to Boracay, attended to court hearings, proposed lots of legal strategies, even tried to get involved with the conveyancing of the hotel. 3 or 4 years later we discovered she was an imposter. She was not a practising lawyer at all.

    I arrived at a time when the company was in its death throes. Cashflow was a very serious problem. A couple of times pay day was delayed. Some staff members told me they had no cash for fares to come to office. One told me she ran out of milk for the baby. I thought the exaggeration was too much, but soon learnt most people here live from hand to mouth. Even though I was not an officer in the employ of the company, I was compassion-bound to advance some staff their salary a couple of times. There was an Engineer whom I advanced some cash, but both he the person and the money never returned.
    Hotel operating staff were demoralised with late paydays and bad business. One time operating cash was late in replenishing, the chef resorted to borrowing from a guest to go do his marketing. I said what??? The guys kept inviting me to go there, with promises of young girls fixed up for me. Did’nt materialise, my trip there, not the girls. When motivation was gone, all hell breaks loose. One day the typhoons came. Nobody bothered to lash the boats properly. When it was all over, we found a lot of the parts of the boats had left with the winds.
    The 2 families that owned the property through which the access roads pass were no hill billies. Although they had girevances, it was obvious money was the issue. Borocay had became popular and land prices were rising. There were people eyeing C’s hotel. The land had a very nice beachfront, that’s the key attraction of the property. Obviously, the families had side-deals with interested parties. A couple of years after I left the company, C managed to sell off the property to others who are more well-connected to over come the right of way issue.

    I was there barely 2 years. Had to make a quick exit as it was apparent that I was not in a position to contribute anything. Sorry for the length. Please note any request for names will not be entertained.

    • Gadzooks. Sounds like the approach of government is not bad. Bankrupt everyone because they are all nuts. Start over.

      Thanks for the tale. Reminds me of my days in Mindanao. It’s like characters from a spaghetti western, except none looks like Clint Eastwood. Guns, goons, and girls. Mayors, extortionists, and M-16s. Snakes, lizards, and relatives.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      My comment chemrock on your comment is high falluting wakarang to a wakawakwak of a Brigahiyalawa (Brigadoon with no shame). I used case studies in my courses, wrote a short one for the UN on inability of a National Research Agency to pay researchers on time. I told my students that case analysis is the strength of Harvard Business School teaching methodology that is being copied by the AIM (Asian Institute of Management),

      I even said a college of law will turn out better lawyers if cases are used for learning with law textbooks as mere backgrounders and references. With cases you augment route and memory learning with straight thinking gymnastics. In case analysis You skin, scalp and crucify the villains and glorify and adore the saints and righteous, you pound and hammer conjectures and notions into theories; but you have to stick to the facts in the case.

      My point Chemrock is that you have written a HELL of a case. One conjecture is that you have completely burned to ashes Boracay Paradise. But, that’s a big BUT, THERE IS NO ONE CORRECT SOLUTION to a case. Boracay is a classic case of hygiene and sanitation with heavy cultural content and manifestation. It can only be aptly described by my words not yet found in any dictionary.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I 1998, I might have spent my honeymoon in that very resort. My dad made mention of time share, maybe just maybe that was the place.

      • karlgarcia says:

        This is a SC case about the resort I was talking about, this may or may not be the one chemrock is telling us.

        http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2008/feb2008/158941.htm

        • BOOM! “The court is not persuaded.”

          This document is the usual mish-mash of technicalities and over abundance of technical jargon that pretends precision but is actually unintelligible gibberish. I don’t know why they just can’t say the company was not authorized to issue timeshares at the time of the transaction. The end.

        • chemrock says:

          Good try Karl, but that’s not the case.

          This case ably demonstrates the craziness of Philippines’ judicial process. So much time and taxpayers money wasted in the to-and-fro nonsense. Its a clear cut case that don’t require the rigamorole of legal intellectualism.

          Normal court process is a petition is submitted to the courts. Someone will vet it, and if there is no legal basis, it is rejected. Bet most of Gadon’s petitions would be rejected in the courts of other countries. The idea is stop wasting tax payers money’.

          Many years back, Singapore courts adopted a special policy, which I think makes a lot of sense. In an appeal case, if petitioner looses again, his original sentence or penalties are increased. The idea is to cut off frivolous appeals and stop wasting taxpayers’ money.

    • Pablo says:

      Chemrock,

      Thank you very much for this nugget of insight.
      This is reality in most parts of Philippines when money gets involved, things get dirty and I have seen many similar cases. It takes a certain way of doing business and always when a business gets bigger, things get dirtier. Even in our little municipality, several people got the knife or bullet (and NEVER anybody was arrested).

      Your nugget gives a hint of local governance being corrupt.
      Hence, my statement that Duterte was wise to involve national departments.

      But by not solving the underlying issues (why they are not successful in applying laws and regulations and acts), the Boracay issue starts to smell like political grandstanding.

      I am not sure about that. In Filipino minds, it might also be a way to get departments do their job in a roundabout way, but I have my suspicions. That long piece of me was actually a reasoning round this point and I would like to get some reactions about that because the Filipino mind keeps on surprising me even after 28 years (note: not meant as a negative comment, I learned many things here and am still learning)…

  13. jorel says:

    BORACAY GREW WITHOUT A CASINO.IT IS A DESTINATION BECAUSE OF ITS NATURE AND BEAUTIFUL BEACH

  14. karlgarcia says:

    With this case example and others before it, I say no to federalism!

  15. Sup says:

    Pimentel is going to use his Lenten break to get his shovel and go to Boracay so it will be ”ready to rock” again after 2 months….

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/978685/pimentel-2-months-enough-for-boracay-cleanup

  16. karlgarcia says:

    Off topic:

    For our destroyed coral reefs, there is still a chance.We have many old ships for decommisioning, instead of old tyres which would not work why not old ships with a steel screened kraken.

    https://www.designboom.com/art/richard-branson-bvi-art-reef-80-foot-coral-kraken/

  17. karlgarcia says:

    Metro Manila is having a hard time with its sewerage coverage, how can they expect Bora’s problems to be solved in a year?

    http://bworldonline.com/mwss-flags-lack-sewerage-coverage-metro-manila/

    THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is asking the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in solving the low sewerage coverage in Metro Manila, which the agency’s head described as a problem worse than the Boracay environmental issue.
    “MWSS is in talks right now with the DENR to try to find a way to assist, to convince or find a solution to increase the sewerage coverage of Metro Manila,” Patrick Lester N. Ty, MWSS chief regulator, told reporters.
    Mr. Ty said Metro Manila’s two water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Co. are having a hard time convincing residents to have their septic tanks cleaned. The companies offer desludging services without extra cost to their customers.
    He also said the water concessionaires are having a problem with local government units (LGUs) in obtaining the necessary permits to build sewer lines and sewage treatment plants.
    “MWSS is part of a committee that is talking to the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and other government agencies to assist the concessionaires as fast as possible,” he said, adding that he was hopeful that the public would understand the inconvenience caused by construction activities.
    “The second problem is the public at large,” he said, noting that many are not connected to sewer lines.
    “Every five years, our concessionaires will desludge our septic tanks,” he said.
    “But one-third of the people asked, they decline or waive this service. They don’t want to allow the concessionaires to desludge because it’s inconvenient for them,” he said.
    Sometimes, residents build structures over their septic tanks, making desludging difficult, Mr. Ty said.
    He said the contents of septic tanks go into the ground water and other water ways, polluting our water and contaminating the environment.
    Mr. Ty said MWSS is coordinating with the DILG and LGUs to urge them to pass ordinances that will force the public to have their septic tanks desludge.
    “If the LGU is lax, like what happened in Boracay, that’s the problem we will be facing,” he said.

  18. Harriot Hamhocker says:

    Last time I was in Boracay was in 2015, I have no idea of what this discussion regarding Boracay is about a casino I cannot fathom the reason for any comment, it wont hurt or it wont benefit Boracy from what I know. The fact is Boracay is split in two as on the southern end there is liberalism with street vendors and markets and an open beach policy, while the northern end of Boracay has nearly NO one on the beach as this is the EXPENSIVE end where the resorts pretend to be better, socially and charge stupid rates. It is the DULL end and the end that I suspect ANY casino would open in. Boracay is not a large island and mostly it is a dull place, it just seems animated but becomes dull after 2 days. There is little pollution on Boracay with mostly electric vehicles, not comfy , but efficient and non polluting. The locals respect that tourists dont want a toilet and they bend over backwards to make it as nice as possible. The markets are a shambles, though and if you want a bad tummy experience by all mean s go shop there for stuff that will probably make you sick and give you the runs. The island to the south ( about 1 km south) is also a nice place but not tourist oriented and has two airports. The island to the north ( about 2 kms) is not that large but has two PALACES on it, one that is ( or was?) owned by Aquino and the other by Manny Pac. Basically Boracay is very over rated. This may all seem incidental to the blog but it is very relevant, because Boracay is meaningless in the scheme of any thing – there is NO reason it should NOT have a casino, but SO WHAT? The WHOLE of the Philippines is a shit hole Jo…dont you REALLY understand that?

    • Not if you live here. It is home. Shitholes are where people who think they are superior live.

    • Pablo says:

      Harriot,

      While I can understand your reasoning and agree with many points, that is not really the issue here, is it? It is a single opinion but this is an issue which affects many.
      WHile I liked Boracay a lot 30 years ago, I was quite disturbed when I saw the place 2 years ago when our daughter decided to get married there. But, that was my opinion. For many of our foreign friends, if you mention Philippines, they understand Boracay. It is one of the best known places in Philippines. Many visited the island and they liked it as they could party till sunrise and lazy through the day. Others got indeed bored (like you said), but they drifted to other places after a few days. Everyone has his idea how a holiday should look like. But, it paid the bills for 50000 people (I have read that figure somewhere) and probably a lot more elsewhere. So, if you close Boracay, you kill the goose with the Golden Egg. Like the Governor said today, there are many alternative places which are better than Boracay for tourists to spend their holiday. But… If you are a foreigner from a far away country and you only heard about Boracay from your friends and planned a trip many months ago and are looking forward to spending your holiday there and suddenly some president in that far away country decided to close down that place, then you probably are really pissed off. Sicogon was mentioned as an alternative (but Tripadvisor hardly mentions it), and the other alternatives the governor mentioned are not even in the Tripadvisors of this world. So, the foreign tourists will be angry and the majority will choose for alternatives like Thailand or Vietnam, places where your other friends have had good experiences and could party till sunrise (because that is a big part of people attracted to Boracay). Those are customers lost forever, they will tell their friends about the good food in Thailand and the temples in Cambodia etc. and those friends will not consider Philippines for a next time either. So, Boracay has lost it’s reputation and 50 000 workers are the loosers. Remember, it takes many years to build up a reputation but it can be destroyed in a jiffy….
      Well, it is not unexpected. Every time I had hopes that some project would progress and spawn similar projects and would provide jobs to the rapidly increasing population, somebody throws a spanner in the wheel and shoots himself in the foot. It happened with the long-distance flights which pissed off the tourists, it happened after the coup and a few other times.. No surprise therefore that surrounding countries’ tourism is booming while Philippines provides labor for cruiseships but tourism here is not nearly reaching the capacity.

      And completely unnecessary. Indeed, Boracay was a “cesspit”. But you can clean it up. There are departments supposed to do just that. Why not kick these guys in action and get the lazy incompetent and corrupt people what they deserve and promote the good willing ones and solve the problems in a positive manner without hurting the income of tens of thousands of workers and business people.

      And do you think that the whole problem can be solved in 6 months? Ofcourse not. So, why even pretend? What is behind all this because Manila is a much bigger “cesspit” indeed, just about any municipality in Philippines is the same. The excuse “it is a start” is nonsense. You do not start by killing the goose with the golden eggs, if she is sick, you nurture her back to health.. Well, ofcourse, we cannot change it and the majority of the population has seen a “strong president” … “finally taking action” .. and love it, clearly not able to consider the consequences of these short term decisions..

      In a few years, the Boracay cleanup project will be in a Project Engineer’s Handbook as a text-book example of how to royally blow a project to pieces.

      The cruise-ship industry can be happy, there will be lots more young Filipino’s coming for jobs on their ships.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s