MANILA — Some 350 people on Monday gathered in front of Willy’s Rock in Barangay Balabag to urge the government to save the island’s remaining undeveloped area.
“We gathered and lit candles to put a face on our online petition,” said Julia Lervik, president of the Friends of the Flying Foxes (FFF), as quoted in a report by Nestor Burgos for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Puka Beach, considered by many as the last gem of Boracay is popular for tourists seeking for the beauty of “virgin” Boracay, with only the white powdery sand and crystal clear waters.
It is located at the northern tip of the 1,032-hectare Boracay and is surrounded by a forest which serves as home from several bat species identified by conservationist.
Most of the species including the golden-crowned flying fox which is endemic to the Philippines, has been considered to be among the list of endangered animals in the island.
Just recently, several groups, residents and tourists have launched an online petition to stop the commercial development of the beach.
Through a petition made through Change.org, the petitioners said that the developers are “again pushing to revoke the forest classification of the area and make it into commercial land for development.”
In the same petition, the concerned residents also said:
“They cannot take away all our wildlife on this island for profit. If you don’t speak up, the last forest will disappear.”
As of Tuesday, the petition (https://www.change.org/p/and-reaching-out-to-the-denr-local-and-national-goverment-of-boracay-island-save-boracay-s-last-remaining-wildlife-forest-and-puka-shell-beach#petition-letter) has generated 10,343 signatories since it was initiated in March.