NOVEMBER 12, 2019 – The government’s rehabilitation of the world-famous island resort of Boracay is on track, the tourism secretary said on Tuesday.
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told One News’ Agenda that the government has so far accredited 622 establishments after they were found to have been compliant to environmental laws.
“We are still enforcing the easement law and constantly making sure that environmental laws are being implemented,” she said.
“It’s important for us to tell everybody what the status is. We have to be transparent. But so far, so good when it comes to Boracay,” Puyat added.
Boracay, consistently voted as one of best resort islands in the world, was ordered shut down for six months in 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte for rehabilitation.
Puyat said the tourism department has also been strictly enforcing the island’s research-backed carrying capacity of 19,215 tourists.
The DOT chief also said the closure of the world-famous island has promoted other tourist destinations in the country, which boosted the travel industry.
The Philippines has already breached the six-million mark in tourist arrivals in the first three quarters of 2019.
Total tourist arrivals have reached 6,161,503 from January to September this year, according to DOT.
CLEANING UP MANILA
Aside from Boracay, Puyat also praised the clearing efforts in Manila as she took note of the local government’s sustainability efforts.
She lauded the upgrades in heritage-rich Intramuros, which now showcases “bamboo bike” as well as e-scooters courtesy of ride-hailing app Grab Philippines.
“It is quite important that you have the cooperation of local government units. [Tourists] who go to Intramuros want to feel safe,” Puyat said.
The DOT secretary also said she has been talking with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso for the relocation of informal settlers from Intramuros, saying “they already have a place to go to.”
The popular first-term mayor has drawn mixed reactions for his iron fist policy against illegal vendors and erring public utility vehicle drivers, among others.