Press Release
August 6, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1115:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) Bill


Boracay for Aklanons.

Full stop.

The proposed Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) is the latest attempt by the administration to take from Aklanons what is rightfully theirs.

Under the Constitution, our local governments enjoy local autonomy. Part of this is the power to create its own sources of revenues. The proposal, as it stands, gives BIDA the authority to operate and license tourism-related activities, which constitutes the bulk of the income of Aklan from the Boracay island. This income is not only necessary for the operations of the Aklan provincial government, it is essential for the provision of services to the Aklanons.

While it is true that the rehabilitation of the island, spearheaded by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), made significant gains in revitalizing the ecosystem in the island, the national government should eventually return the operation and management of the island to the Aklanons, rather than now making moves to permanently takeover both the management and receiving the benefits therefrom.

While it is national government's job to guide our local governments in order to reach their potential, we must not fall into the trap of governing in place of the duly-elected officials in the local level.

Make no mistake, this is an act of unjust taking driven by people who are salivating at the prospect of using the island and its natural resources as a cash cow to satisfy their personal greed, rather than the betterment of the residents. And it would be just the beginning if allowed to push through.

Let us legislate the parameters for the proper management of the Boracay island, but let us allow the local officials to do what they are elected to do in the interest of the local residents that they serve.

Kung totoong wala na ang tinatawag na "Imperial Manila", bayaan na natin ang mga Aklanon pamahalaan ang kanilang sarili. Sila dapat ang Bida.

This just goes to show the utter hypocrisy on the part of the Duterte government to campaign on the platform of federalism while taking away from the local governments the control of the local resources. This just goes to show that any moves by the Duterte group for charter change, in the guise of federalism as the cure-all for our nation's woes, is but a ruse to insert changes that will only benefit members of their circle. Their goal is not to solve problems, but to make profit.

Nakakasuka na ang pagkagahaman at kawalan ng hiya ng mga taong dapat nagtataguyod ng kapakanan ng mga Pilipino. ###

(Access handwritten version here:

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