Recent studies show that Boracay is in great danger of losing its pristine white beach because of what we cannot see happening beneath the beautiful ocean. How can this happen and how can this be prevented?
Boracay is known as the gem of Philippine tourism; bringing on billions of pesos in revenue over the years. The Boracay beach ranks first in Asia and this year was reported by our Department of Tourism to be second best beach in the world. But what we don’t know is that, underneath the eight kilometer-wide sparkling sea, it is like a grave yard of dead corals.
According to the 2011 study of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, there is only 9 percent live coral cover left off the southern side of the sea. The deteriorating condition of the coral reefs has already affected the diving tourism in Boracay and this was also felt by the local fishermen. Not only that the destruction of the coral reefs is also the cause of the erosion of the beach front. These coral reefs “break” the waves to prevent erosion when there are typhoons.
That is why Code Blue Boracay was launched by the local government of Malay, Aklan, partnering with Sangkalikasan Producers Cooperative, aiming to conserve the resort island. The project Code Blue Boracay is like a medical term referring to the critical state of the sea, calling for immediate intervention and rehabilitation of the sea corals.
In this public-private partnership, they will be deploying 5,000 temporary reef buds, made from cement and other organic materials. This is the biggest coral reef restoration project in the country.
This Tuesday, Patrol ng Pilipino will explore the potentials of these artificial coral reefs in reviving the life under the sea. Hear stories from boatmen and fishermen on how their livelihood was affected with the critically low state of coral life.
Join Dominic Almelor as he dives into the waters and see how, in a short period of time, the previously deployed organic coral reef buds have already made changes in the marine life.
LOS BAÑOS CRIME
The University of the Philippines Los Baños campus boasts of its exemplary students and the lush forest it provides as ambience to its students. Close to nature, UPLB also invites trips to their campus to create awareness about nature. But these past few days the lush forest is the escape route for criminals, sowing fear among its students, faculty, alumni and nearby residents.
Last week the UPLB Student Council had an indignation rally, calling for justice for the deaths of the victims of rape, mugging and slay in the campus and the nearby barangays. Because of these incidents 50 Los Baños, Laguna policemen were relieved from their posts.
The UPLB administration is set to hold a security summit this month with new detailed policemen in Los Baños to discuss the series of crimes that is happening. Los Banos Mayor Anthony Genuino gave updates on the progress of the manhunt for the killers of Rochel Geronda and Ray Peñaranda.
Though according to him these are isolated cases, it is also very alarming. The city government will prepare a security master plan imposing stricter security measures around the UPLB campus such as curfew, alcohol bans, police outposts, installation of lighting facilities and CCTV cameras. The UPLB administration is also set to build more dormitories inside the campus.
UPLB Alumni Francis Faulve revisits his alma mater and reminisces the UPLB he knew before: peaceful, serene and secured. He also gives updates on the cases of Given Grace Cebanico, Rochel Geronda and Ray Penaranda. He unearths the case of 1993 rape slay of Aileen Sarmenta and her boyfriend by then-Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez.
The ‘iskolars ng bayan’ are all over the headlines not for their exemplar performance but the threats they are faced with; let this story be a shout for vigilance.
Catch all these Tuesday at Patrol ng Pilipino after Bandila, and at 9:15 p.m. in DZMM Teleradyo.