The Philippines House of Representatives has approved a measure to create a new government body to oversee the development of Boracay.
According to state-run Philippine News Agency, the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) will be tasked with managing, developing, operating, preserving and rehabilitating the Boracay Island Development Zone, including the entirety of Boracay Island and surrounding islets.
The development zone itself will be transformed into a “self-sustaining industrial, commercial, leisure, financial, and investment center” aimed at generating employment and promoting foreign investment while preserving the natural resources and biodiversity of Boracay Island, PNA said.
Creation of the BIDA comes after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte last month lifted a moratorium on new casino developments on Boracay, in place since 2018, in order to help the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two groups have since expressed interest in resurrecting casino and IR developments that had previously been planned: one led by Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group and the other by Leisure & Resorts World Corp, possibly in partnership with Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group.
Under BIDA, all new tourism facilities will be required to meet “international standards of excellence” to help promote Boracay as an “environmentally sustainable and safety-conscious tourism destination.”