Construction of Puka Beach hotel draws complaints

By Warren de Guzman, ANC

Posted at May 25 2015 12:46 AM | Updated as of Nov 09 2016 11:16 AM

BORACAY -- Boracay residents are complaining about a new hotel being constructed on Puka Beach, which they said was formerly protected by government.

The hotel, Seven Seas Boracay Hotel and Residences, is being built by the same developer behind H2O Hotel and Manila Ocean Park. The hotel boasts underwater rooms with aquarium windows that let guests look into the blue waters of Boracay.

One fisherman claimed that the project supposedly has a waste water pipe that drains right onto the beach and has affected his catch.

Another resident and resort owner in Boracay complained that it is spoiling Puka Beach, a famous attraction in the island because it has no hotels or resorts by its beach, giving it a more natural feel.

An environment advocate in Boracay also said the construction is affecting the wildlife.

But most tourists don't seem to mind the construction. And workers at the site said they haven't seen any protests since construction began.

The complainants said this is because SevenSeas swooped in quietly.

Officials in charge of the site were unavailable for comment.

Aside From Manila Ocean Park and H2O, Seven Seas also operates the World Hotel in Makati, as well as properties in Palawan, South Korea, and China.

According to the Seven Seas website, the Boracay property will have the largest number of underwater hotel resort rooms -- 77 -- with "large acrylic panel windows boasting a 12 square meters of viewing area, or equivalent to 192 inch of viewing screen beneath the sea."

"Guests will have an up close vista of spectacular marine life in the comfort of their hotel room. The building will rise over 22 meters above sea level and more than 4 meters under the water," it said.

The resort hopes to open by mid-2016, it said on the website.