Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez led the inauguration of the one-kilometer submarine water pipeline along the Caticlan-Boracay channel that will augment the existing 13-year old pipeline supplying water to Boracay from mainland Malay town. The P126-M submarine pipe, constructed by Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC), a subsidiary of Manila Water Company, the East Zone concessionaire of Metro Manila, is intended to further improve the island’s water supply.
Jimenez’s presence in Boracay brings to fore pressing development issues plaguing the island such as zoning and environmental concerns. He took positive note of the improvements in water supply and wastewater management since BIWC started operations in 2009. The island now enjoys better water supply, with 96% of the population now having 24/7 water service. The quality of tap water has also improved significantly, with 100% compliance with the stringent parameters of the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.
Secretary Jimenez says the new submarine pipeline is expected to provide improved water supply and water pressure in the underserved areas of Boracay. “I salute the partnership between Boracay Water, the local government and TIEZA for turning things around and making things happen here in Boracay. As the premier tourist destination in the country, we need to ensure that the basic services such as water and wastewater services for the locals as well as tourists are well-provided. This is also ensuring the sustainability of the island paradise for the years to come,” says Jimenez.
Over the past two years, BIWC has also upgraded wastewater management in the island. From 31%, it is expected to hit its 52% service coverage target by the end of 2012. The upgrading of the island’s sewage treatment plant also ensured that the treated wastewater being flushed back into natural waters is within environmental compliance standards keeping the beaches pristine.