The world’s most expensive resort has attracted the beady-eyed interest of Philippine bureaucrats, keen to uncover any irregularities in its paperwork.
As we reported earlier this month, Banwa Private Island in Palawan announced that it was opening to bookings — at a cool $100,000 per night.
For this price, well-heeled tourists would have the run of 15 acres and six luxury beach-front villas with a capacity for 48 visitors at a time.
The island near Roxas Town — described as “a private world where time stands still” — also features a restaurant, bar, spa, diving centre and a seafront golf driving range.
Since the announcement that it was ready to take bookings, local officials have announced that it needs to be inspected to ensure it is not in breach of any tourism policies or environmental laws.
Among the bureaucrats set to descend on the island next month are officials from the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Environmental Management Burea of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Health.
Speaking to the Palawan News yesterday (Tuesday, May 28) the DOT’s regional director Danilo Intong said the resort may face “closure” for operating without “necessary government permits”.
He also said that although reams of paperwork had been submitted by the island’s developers, there were certain certificates apparently missing.
These, he said, include accreditations related to waste water disposal, shoreline “easement zone” compliance and the safety of guests.
He also cited “Memorandum Circular 2017-17 issued by the DILG on February 6”, which requires tourism businesses to secure accreditation from the DOT before opening to the public. “We have new processes now that need DOT accreditation first. Ignorance of the law excuses no one,” he said.
In order to check that the world’s most expensive resort complies with all due regulations, Mr Intong will lead a team of bureaucrats to the island on June 27-28.
They will also determine how the exclusive resort — which has been in development for over a decade — should be rated. “If that’s a rating, premium accreditation. Meaning to say after the inspection, it can be rated as one star, two or five star,” he added.
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