Boracay beach vendors in limbo, seek help of Malay town officials

AKLAN, Philppines – Beach vendors affected by the ongoing rehabilitation of Boracay Island are far from happy.

Malay Boracay Vendors, Peddlers, Masseurs, Manicurists Association (MABOVEN) former president Adelfa Cuesta has asked the Sangguniang Bayan members and Malay town mayor Ceciron Cawaling to intervene in bringing them back in Boracay beaches or relocate them when Boracay Island re-opens on October 26.

The plan to declare the beach front  off-limits to local vendors and massage workers will take a toll on the livelihood of more than 300 MABOVEN members.

Ang mga vendors ay hindi na magtatrabaho sa beach front. Nagtatanong kami kung saan kami ililipat ng gobyerno. Dapat malaman natin para makapaghanda din kami,” Cuesta said.

(Vendors will be barred from selling at the beach front. We want to know where will the government transfer us. We need to know so we could prepare.)

Beach tables, chairs, beds and other furniture like beach umbrellas will also not allowed in the beaches at all times, according to the plan for reopening of the premier tourist spot. (READ: No more parties on the beach when Boracay reopens)

The new plans are part of the efforts of Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force to rehabilitate the island and to make the beaches more attractive to tourists and beachgoers.

Cuesta stressed “they are left with no choice, but, to seek the help of local government officials on possible relocation far from the crowded beach front where they could also sell souvenir items and wares.”

The impending relocation, she added, threatens the livelihood of vendors, massage therapists and paraw owners and hundreds of families whose income solely depend on Boracay tourism.

Ito na lang natitira para sa amin. Kabuhayan namin ito. Masakit at madugo para sa aming mahihirap na almost five months na kaming nasa kritikal na kondisyon at wala na kaming makukuhaan ng aming ikakabuhay. Alam namin hindi ninyo kami pababayaan,” Cuesta added.

(This is all that's left for us. This is our livelihood. It was an extremely difficult time for poor people like us to be in this critical condition for almost five months. We do not have any other source of income. We know you will not let us down.)

Sangguniang Barangay member Jupiter Aelred Gallenero also urged the government to urgently intervene and to help the affected Boracay workers.

Marami ang madisplaced tulad ng vendors, ang ibang associations sa paraw, boating ay apektado din. It is a challenge for us to protect the displaced workers,” he stressed. 

(Many will be affected by the plan, including vendors, and paraw and boating associations.) – Rappler.com