BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan- The move to protect the Boracay caves from further exploitation became official after the local council of Malay passed a resolution authorizing Malay Mayor John Yap to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Marlene Aborka, acting officer of the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO), said that there are three caves in Boracay namely the bat cave, crystal cove, and the Dark Side of Paradise Cave in Barangay Balabag.
All of these caves were allegedly exploited by tour guide operators who are yet to be regulated by the local government.
Wildlife conservation experts said that Boracay in 1980's was inhabited by the world's largest fruit bats but were now extinct because of human development and exploitation.
The move to protect the Boracay caves are in coordination with several government agencies such as the Department of Tourism, National Museum, National Historical Institute, among others.
The MOA would allow DENR and the local government to regulate tour-guiding activities in these caves. The management will then be handled by the local government and fees collected from the management will be used for the protection of the caves.
"We will be the one who will be in charge to frame up the tariff rates to recommend to the council for adoption and approval," Aborka said.