Among the most noticeable aspects when one goes to Boracay today is the ongoing road construction at the famed White Beach area.
It is one of the measures undertaken by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force after the famed party island was closed for six months last year upon the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to clean and rehabilitate it.
On the eastern side of the island, however, a township is shaping up to be a model of sustainable tourism development.
Boracay Newcoast, from the beginning, has put the interest of the future above all else.
“Our idea is to be able to create an entire new side of Boracay to complement the legacy of White Beach. We want to show this as a model of development; of how a tourism development should be,” Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing for Boracay Newcoast, said.
The 150-hectare township is developed by Megaworld Corp. and its subsidiary, Global Estates Resorts Inc.
It is going to be a master-planned development subdivided into districts. There’s the Hotel District, where two of its homegrown brands, Savoy and Belmont, are currently operating. A third hotel, Chancellor, is set to open in 2021.
There will also be a Boutique Hotel District and Shophouse District. Owning a piece of Boracay can now be possible through lots at the Newcoast Village or at the Condominium Cluster, which currently features the Oceanway Residences. Newcoast Village recently won the Best Housing Development at the 7th PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards last July.
With all these developments taking place, will this affect the lush foliage and natural beauty of the island?
“You may be asking: ‘Is Megaworld destroying Boracay Island?’ No, we’re not. We’re showing you what we are doing with the island. This is going to be a model of sustainable development in the entire island. We are not destroying the island, in fact, we are preserving it,” shared Palmares-Fong.
“Sixty percent of the entire Boracay Newcoast is dedicated to green and open spaces. Only 40 percent is ‘buildable,’” she added.
The township has its own sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility and dots its streets with solar-powered and LED lamps. Keeping the view neat for the guests is its underground cable system.
It is also compliant with the Department of Environment and Natural Resource’s 25+5 meter easement rule in all its coastline, including its Newcoast Station, fronting the Sibuyan Sea.
Also parts of its sustainability measures is their campaign “Cause for a Newcoast,” which is a cleanup drive and education awareness done every LaBoracay, which falls on Labor Day, 1 May.
“We’re very, very conscious of our development here and we’ve even extended up to the White Beach by implementing and coming out with that campaign. During our first year, we were able to get 5,000 kilos of garbage. On the second year, we were able to gather 7,000 kilos and, on the third year, around 12,000 kilos. And that’s only from our movement. We turned it over to the government for proper disposal and recycling,” she enthused.
She ended, “Even before the island was closed, we already came out with all these things. These were not the result of the closure; these were already compliant way before the closure. We implemented these three to four years ago.”
Photos by Yummie Dingding