MANILA – 350 people assembled in front of Willy’s Rock in Barangay Balabag, Boracay to urge the government to help save the remaining undeveloped area in the island.
Residents, expatriates and business owners led a candle lighting activity and displayed a banner calling on the government to save Puka Beach. The beach is located in the northern area of Boracay and a home to some endangered species in the country. Puka beach is the only area to remain undeveloped and is popular to tourist seeking the “old Boracay,” with no structures, had white sand and sparkling clear waters, Inquirer reported.
Julia Lervik, president of the Friends of the Flying Foxes (FFF), one of the groups that led the candle-lighting activity and vigil, said that this activity serves as a face for the online petition which showed people do care. FFF is a non-government organization which calls for the conservation of flying foxes.
An online petition had been going on gathering more than 10,000 support in the internet. The petition demanded that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as other government institutions create a wildlife sanctuary in Barangay Yapak area which included Puka Beach and forests surrounding the area.
As of June 16, the petition has generated over 10,343 signatories since its launching on March. FFF initiated the campaign to protect flying foxes, an endangered species of fruits bats which resemble foxes with wings. Aside from flying foxes, Golden-Crowned Flying Fox (Aceradon jubatus) was also found and was declared as endangered species worldwide under the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature according to the petition at Change.org.
As of April 8, 2014, the population of fruit bats decreased to 2,238 from 15,000 in 1986.
In an article from Canadian Inquirer, the petitioners told that developers are assertive in calling for the cancellation of forest classification in the area to be able to convert it to commercial lands.
Click the link to read and sign the petition: Save Boracay’s last remaining Wildlife, Forest and Puka Shell Beach.