BORACAY, Aklan -- A mall developer dismissed worries that the opening of its new community mall in this island paradise may lead to the degradation of its beaches.
"Like in most of our malls, we practice proper garbage disposal... We are one of the first malls that use solar panels as part of our responsibility with the environment," DoubleDragon president Ferdinand Sia said.
Retail outlets inside the new City Mall Boracay, which officially opened on Saturday, are still making use of plastic bags, but the mall management said it will shift to biodegradable packaging and utensils should it be required by the local government.
Environment compliance of establishments here have been under scrutiny due to the emergence of excessive green algae along its shores, an indication of pollution in some coastal points.
Despite such worries, the retail development has been celebrated by the 250 locals who have been employed by the mall, as well as resort owners here who no longer have to source some of their supplies from nearby cities or Metro Manila.
"It's so much time consuming and at the same time, it's expensive to ship. We hope that with the opening of a big mall here... we will be able to get our supplies here in the island and save on shipping," Edd Fuentes, the owner of a 40-room resort here, told ABS-CBN News.
Without shipping fees, a small resort can save at least P20,000 on monthly expenses, Fuentes said.