Islands and Beaches
Boracay Update #1: After A Month of Closure
Belle Piccio | May 24, 2018
I would proudly say that I’m a patron of Boracay. We would visit the island usually during the Holy Week, summer break and or even celebrate our Christmas break and spend the New Year’s eve with family and friends.
When the news broke and there was already an official announcement from the government that Boracay will be close for 6-months starting April 26, 2018 first things that come to our minds are:
- What will happen to the people who works and lives on the island? And,
- It’s about time that the government will rehabilitate the island than waiting and realizing it’s already too late and the damage is already irreversible.
We were worried for the people we know but at the same time happy for the decision that was made by the government to clean up our favorite island in the Philippines.
For the 6-month closure of Boracay, here are the 8 Golden Rules that the government released for implement and regulation.
1. No tourists allowed into the island. Identified tourists will be stopped at the Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan.
2. No ID, no entry. Residents, workers and resort owners will be allowed entry into the island to the presentation of identification cards specifying a residence in Boracay. All government-issued IDs will be recognized and acceptable as long as they are accompanied by a barangay certification of residency.
3. Swimming are allowed only for locals. Swimming shall not be allowed anywhere on the island. However, residents may be allowed to swim only at Angol Beach in Station 3 from 6am to 5pm.
4. No visitors. No visitors of Boracay residents shall be allowed entry, except under emergency situations, and with the clearance from the Boracay Security Committee composed of a DILG representative, the police, and local government officials.
5. Journalists are not allowed to stay in the island. Media will be allowed entry subject to prior approval from the Department of Tourism with a definite duration and limited movement.
6. No floating structures. No floating structures shall be allowed up to 15 kilometers from the shoreline. These include boats and personal water craft (jet ski).
7. Foreign residents to be checked. The Bureau of Immigration will revalidate the papers of foreigners who have found a home in Boracay.
8. One entry, one exit point. There will only be one transportation point to Boracay Island. Authorities have yet to decide where these entry and exit points will be.
From ABS-CBN News, READ: Boracay closure: 8 golden rules
After almost a month now, I asked some of my friends who are employees in 2 of the big hotels in Boracay for updates and how they are doing.
Beth Revesencio is a front office agent at Haven Suites. She has been working and is a resident of the island for 2 years already.
Beth was a bit disappointed when she first heard the news about the closure.
“It was a bit disappointing since the island is where I get my fund for my daily needs.”
But after a few weeks and digging further, she realized why the government have this kind of action.
“I was expecting a positive result for this which can add to the further development of the island and of course I think that would double as well the number of tourists visiting in the island than before, hence, the hotel may increase its income due to this matter.”
Instead of thinking negatively, Beth embraced the positive side on why the government decided to immediately close the island.
“Our management was really proactive in informing us of our retained status, our working days will be cut but we are still paid daily. Of course preparations would be, which the management as well advised us, is to save money for the upcoming closure, I as well informed my parents regarding this so that they will not be shocked of why I cut the amount lesser than I give them before.”
It was already about 2 weeks of ongoing rehabilitation of the island when Beth decided to out at the beach.
“I was greatly astonished to the countable people there, very quiet place and clean beach-line.”
To Beth, she positively envisions that after 5 months…
“Boracay will be a paradise AGAIN. It will no longer be a cesspool.”
Locals are becoming more aware and educated how to take care of the island for the future generations to discover its natural beauty.
We should be responsible people, referring not just to the island residents but most of all as tourists and island guests. Respecting the island should start within ourselves.
As a resident and worker in the island, Beth can only say…
"Watch out and see for yourself. Why? Because Boracay will be re-discovered and will re-live its paradise-like beach, will continue being a top destination all over the world, not only in the Philippines, made possible with more responsibility for nature from its residents and hospitality from its workers.”