Pandan Antique Philippines

Appeal to Governor Joeben Miraflores

December 21, 2000

Governor Joeben T. Miraflores
Chairman, Reg’l. Dev’t. Council
Region VI – Iloilo City

Honorable Miraflores:

We are deeply shocked by the fact, that Metro Manilas garbage will be transfered and dumped on Semirara Island, Antique, about 45 Kilometers to the Northwest of Boracay Island, starting by this January 01, 2001. The waters surrounding Semirara Island offer an abundance of underwater life, a diver’s paradise known to scuba divers from Boracay Island. If Semirara would be made the dumping site of Metro Manila’s garbage, not only Semirara’s ecosystem would be threatened, but also the country’s number one tourist destination, Boracay Island, and the coastlines of Northwestern Aklan and Antique.

The Semirara Island group, consisting of Semirara, Caluya and Sibay Islands, the whole province of Antique and Western Aklan are a natural treasure, much to valuable to be used shortsightedly as a garbage dump. Right now only Boracay enjoys most of the advantages and also problems of tourism. But for the future development of tourism, the whole area must be preserved and protected. A dumpside in the middle of that area will threaten this development and only be advantageous to a few people.

Boracays beaches, especially the world famous White Beach, could well be affected by an immense garbage dump in Semirara Island, especially during the “habagat” season, when westerly winds blow and the current of the sea goes from Southwest to the Northeast. Already now oil slicks and plastics from passing ships litter Boracays White Beach during “habagat’ season. The consequences of non-biodegradable garbage blown from Semirara Island during typhoons or dumped by careless workers, scattered in the surrounding seas and much ending up at the shorelines of Boracay, Malay and Antique cannot be imagined and would be a catastrophic blow to our environment and finally tourism of the whole area.

We, the Boracay Foundation, Inc. and all other people from Boracay, which have signed this letter, oppose the plan to dump Metro Manila’s garbage on Semirara Island. It is a very shortsighted plan, threatening the livelihood all people in one of the last nature reserve in the Philippines. We ask therefore for your support, by communicating with Antiques administration and by voicing out our opposition with the responsible high level government agencies in Manila.

Thank you very much for your immediate action.


Boracay, Philippines