Updating of the Carrying Capacity Study of Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Duration: May – September 2022
On April 26, 2018, the three barangays comprising Boracay Island was put under a state of calamity by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 475, series of 2018 which rendered its temporary closure until October 25, 2018. This was done to address the environmental degradation reported in the island through uninterrupted implementation of various rehabilitation activities. In that same year, a carrying capacity study was conducted to determine the values that could serve as baseline information to future planning activities and programs in the island. Carrying Capacity refers to the ability of a system to support an activity or feature at a given level depending on the resources, number of users and rate of resource consumption (Calanog et al., 2015). The results of the carrying capacity study showed that tourism carrying capacity of Boracay Island at any given day was found to be 19,215 tourists [Real Carrying Capacity (RCC)]. This figure represents the total number of tourists that can physically fit in the swimming and beach areas at any given day, considering international standards, rotation coefficient and limiting factors. This translates to a daily tourist arrival of 6,405, if tourists were assumed to stay an average of three days in the island. Overall tourism carrying capacity was based on the combined real carrying capacities (RCC) of the swimming areas (RCC=10,623 tourists/day) and beach areas (RCC=8,592 tourists/day), which are the primary areas of concern for overcrowding (Sanchez, et al, 2018).
During the closure of Boracay Island, the BIATF through the member agencies conducted several rehabilitation activities to improve the environmental condition of the
island, recover important wetland ecosystems and easement areas as well as decongest
the island from illegal settlement and structures. In consideration of these significant rehabilitation efforts in Boracay Island, DENR 6 proposes to update the carrying capacity
of Boracay Island which was last conducted in 2018. The updating of the carrying capacity covered all areas previously included in the carrying capacity study conducted in 2018 by the ERDB as well as the recovered and rehabilitated wetlands ecosystems of Boracay Island. The methodology in the updating of the carrying capacity adopted the framework from the 2018 carrying capacity study in close coordination with the technical personnel of DENR 6. The reference for the methodology was based on the DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2021-02 or the “Adoption of the DENR Manual on Carrying Capacity Determination for Sustainable Tourism Destinations”.