The world class beacAgency Task Force (BIATF) led by its Chairperson, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, and co-chairpersons, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, approved the reopening of the island and the country to tourism with observance of health guidelines and protocol to ensure a healthy and safe travel experience.
Hotels, restaurants and marine/seaport activity were inspected for environmental and tourism compliance in light of the new normal and in support to environment sustainability of the island.
Based on the latest water-quality monitoring done by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 6, the lowest fecal coliform level recorded was less than one (<1) most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml) at Station 1 Front Beach Willy’s Rock formation. Moreover, Ilig-iligan Beach Shell Museum recorded a total of 4.5mpn/100ml; Boracay New Coast, with 7.8mpn/100ml; and Puka Beach, the common tourist go-to swimming areas, with 13mpn/100ml.
As Class SB, Boracay Island’s water is classified as suitable for swimming, diving and other water recreational activities. The safe fecal coliform level for Class SB water is set at 100mpn/100ml.
Thus, the recent water quality monitoring results conducted by the EMB shows Boracay’s waters has become cleaner for tourist and residents to take a dip.
“Test-Before-Travel” requirement was implemented for visitors to have a negative result of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test not more than 48 hours prior to travelling and also to undergo strict quarantine after the test until the time of travel to the island.
Tourists aged below 21 and above 60 years old are allowed to visit Boracay but without comorbidity or worse health conditions. There is no need for an RT-PCR test negative result for Aklanon tourists and aged 7 years old and below tourists. Every tourist should get a copy of Health Declaration Certificate (HDC) and QR code (quick response code) and must be presented to authorities in borders for scanning as well as within Boracay Island.
The local government will monitor people on the beach to avoid overcrowding.
All water sport activities should be booked through the front office of regulated tourist hotel and resorts. Tourist must avoid careless tourism activities like damaging the natural resources such as direct damages of coral reefs during water sports activities.
Tourists are also encouraged to practice “Clean As You Go” policy and throwing trash directly to the trash bins to avoid garbage ending up in the waters of Boracay Island.
The government has been working on reviving the tourism industry, which has been hard-hit by the quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Responsible tourism should be practiced in Boracay Island. I am encouraging everyone to observe proper health protocols and avoid littering of trash especially in the beach areas. Let us continue to enjoy the pristine white sand beach and clear waters of the rehabilitated Boracay,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.
Boracay rehabilitation is still one of the DENR priority programs and projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6