Presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson said turning the tourist-haven island of Boracay into a government-owned and -controlled corporation must be a collective decision not only by public officials but the local residents.
Lacson was sought for his comment on House Bill No. 9286 that would create the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA), which lawmakers from the House of Representatives already approved.
“Whatever it takes to improve our opportunities for tourism, I’ll go for it. But, as I said, we don’t have to do it somewhat indiscriminately or in a whimsical manner. We need to carefully study the matter and with full consultation with the people surrounding the area,” Lacson said.
Earlier, Lacson indicated support for the BIDA bill. He upheld this position during his visit to Kalibo, Aklan because he believes “it is a good concept.”Lacson, however, underscored that while he is generally affirmative of the proposed legislation, any executive action that would be made under his leadership about it must be backed by science and data-driven with due respect to environmental concerns.
On his trip to Western Visayas this week, Lacson also raised anew his proposal to develop tourism estates in the most beautiful destinations across the country, this time including the picturesque islands of Gigantes in Iloilo and Boracay in Aklan.
Lacson told the Ilonggos and Aklanons that his tourism development plan is tied to his flagship Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) program in which local government officials would be authorized to implement various projects for their communities to spur economic growth.
Members of Partido Reporma in Aklan and Antique continue to support the electoral bids of independent presidential Lacson and his vice presidential bet Senate President Vicente Sotto III, even after Lacson had left the party last March.
Lacson met with members of his former party Tuesday evening following a town hall session in Kalibo, Aklan. The Reporma members had requested the meeting, he said.
He added their support meant much to him, adding it further emboldened him and Sotto to continue with their campaign until the end.
On Tuesday, Lacson campaigned in Estancia (Iloilo) and Kalibo (Aklan) while Sotto was in Dumaguete (Negros Oriental). Both are expected to campaign together in Caluya Island in Antique and in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo on Wednesday.