There were persistent rumors in the past that very powerful individuals and business entities used to cart off sand from Boracay’s beaches. One very powerful individual built a house that media dubbed “Boracay Mansion” because part of the grounds was adorned with white sand flown in from Boracay.
But it wasn’t just the high and mighty who had been denuding Boracay of its most precious asset. Tourists have been caught with bottles of sand in their luggage. At the Caticlan Airport, there is a shelf where confiscated bottles of white sand are on display as a warning to the public.
According to an August 22 report from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), authorities of Malay, Aklan where Boracay is located have recently amended Municipal Ordinance 310, which bans people from collecting white sand and pebbles from the island’s beaches and imposes stricter penalties on those who have been caught doing so.
Under the amendments, first-time offenders will be fined P2,500 or imprisoned for one to three months, or be both fined and imprisoned, depending on the decision of the court. Meanwhile, second-time or subsequent sand stealers will be penalized with three to six months imprisonment. [Source]