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Boracay Island Will Reopen Oct. 26 As PH Gov’t Vows To Introduce Reforms

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Boracay Island is again open for business starting on October 26 but Philippine authorities said the popular holiday destination in Southeast Asia will conduct dry run operations ahead of D-Day. Also, visitors can expect sweeping reforms for strict implementation to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Ten days prior to the reopening, Boracay will begin accommodating tourists anew but the government made clear only domestic visitors will be given access to the island during the dry run period. The whole stretch of soft opening will be used “to assess what else must be done before the government reopens Boracay to domestic and foreign tourists,” the Philippine News Agency (PNA) said in a press release.

Authorities have indicated too that reforms and new policies will be put in place to ensure that the island’s rehabilitation efforts will be sustained.

April this year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shutdown of Boracay for six months to make way for massive clean-up measures and save the island from further environmental degradation.

The national government intervened following the assessment from concerned agencies that the beach resort was plagued by “water pollution, encroachment and solid waste accumulation.”

“Carrying capacity of the island had been breached, leading to generation of too much waste and deterioration of water quality, among others,” the government declared.

Approaching Green Status

Months after the Philippine leader had branded Boracay a sorry cesspool site, officials in charge of the island’s rehabilitation reported that significant improvements have been achieved. In one beach front for instance, identified in a report by The Philippine Star as Bulabog Beach, the water is now bluish and is apparently clear of the unpleasant odour observed a few months back.

Bulabog before Boracay’s closure also reflected how bad the water pollution in the island was. There were sites on the beach where the water was brownish and smelled bad.

Local government authorities have also continued on their efforts to rid the island of residential and commercial structures that ran afoul with environmental regulation. In this respect, the demolition mission was reported to be at 65 percent and progressing fast, according to The Star.

Sustainable Tourism In Boracay

Likewise, tourism officials said the new Boracay is aiming for “sustainable tourism” in the island and part of the plan is to make a more peaceful vacation spot for local and international tourists alike. In this light, beach parties will be no longer allowed and will be limited only on entertainment establishments, online news site Rappler said in a report.

“It won’t be like a party place anymore. We want it to be more as it is, we want it to be more peaceful. We want to promote sustainable tourism,” Bernadette Romulo Puyat, the country’s tourism chief, was quoted in the report as saying.

The government will also make sure that Boracay is not subjected again to overbooking that inevitably resulted to overcrowding. In the past, up to 19,000 tourists made their way to the island resort on a given day, which is a scenario that will not be permitted anymore, officials said.