By Tara Yap
The town council of Malay in Aklan province is calling on the national government to allow a fireworks show to welcome the New Year at world-famous Boracay Island.
Councilor Nenette Aguirre Graf confirmed that she sponsored a resolution appealing the ban that has been in place since April 2018, which was when Boracay started its massive rehabilitation to fix environmental problems.
Graf explained to Manila Bulletin how fireworks have long been a tradition of locals before Boracay’s tourism boom.
When Boracay became popular, Graf noted how thousands of tourists flocked to see the dazzling fireworks show by the beach.
“Our loyal followers from all over the world are expecting this event every end of the year. It’s a tradition where families and friends hug, couples kiss, or children jump believing they can grow taller,” Graf said.
The town council’s resolution has been forwarded to the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG), which consists of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and various other government agencies.
Graf proposed to temporarily lift the fireworks ban between 11:30 p.m. of December 31, 2019 to 12:30 a.m. of January 1, 2020.
As in previous years, the fireworks will be lighted from a barge off the coast and away from the corals.
This is not the first time the town council appealed to the inter-agency task force. Last year, there was a similar appeal. However, the inter-agency group did not act on it.
Meanwhile, the town council remains hopeful BIARMG will grant the request this time.