The National Economic and Development Authority was requested by the Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) to assist in the preparation of the terminal report of the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF).  As provided in Executive Order 115, s. 2020, the terminal report shall be aligned with the key thematic areas of the Boracay Action Plan (BAP), including the plans and programs implemented and the total budget utilized.  The BIARMG, led by DENR, is the monitoring arm of the BIATF and enforces the guidelines and other issuances of the BIATF on the ground.

The three-day workshop on November 25-28, 2020, held at Astoria Currents in Boracay Island was participated by national government agencies, private sector organizations, and the local governments of Malay and Aklan, which were grouped according to the thematic areas of the BAP, as follows:

Thematic 1:   Enforcement of Laws and Regulations (DILG as lead);

Thematic 2:   Pollution Control and Prevention (EMB DENR);

Thematic 3:   Rehabilitation and Recovery of Ecosystems (DENR);

Thematic 4a: Putting in Place Reliable Infrastructure (DPWH);

Thematic 4b: Responsible Social Services along Health, Education and Housing (LGU-Malay); and

Thematic 4c: Economic Opportunities, including Livelihood and Tourism (DOT)

Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla of the NEDA-Regional Development Group led the NEDA Team composed of four central office Regional Development Staff and five technical staff from the NEDA Region VI office. She discussed the background and rationale of the assessment of the BAP which will form part of the BIATF Final Report to the President. The NEDA managed and facilitated the workshop including the preparation of the BAP Report outline, templates for tabular reporting, and the workshop mechanics.  The workshop outputs of the thematic groups highlighted the summary of physical and financial accomplishments of programs and projects committed by government for Boracay, the role of the island’s communities and the private sector, the remaining issues that needs to be addressed and the ways forward, including the institutional arrangement that will sustain the initiatives in the rehabilitation of Boracay.  The summary of outputs will be presented to the BIATF during its meeting in Boracay on December 2, 2020.

It was NEDA that spearheaded the drafting of the Medium-Term Boracay Action Plan in 2018.  The BAP lays out the programs and projects for the island’s rehabilitation and provides safeguards from ecological degradation to ensure the sustainability of tourism activities in island. These programs and activities were implemented following Boracay’s six-month closure to tourists, which took place from April to October 2018./MLM/JBT/PFPD/