Part of Boracay’s shoreline was temporarily closed for a two to three-day cleanup after a foreign tourist allowed her child to defecate in its waters.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed that Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered Boracay Inter-agency Task Force (BIATF) General Manager Natividad Bernardino to isolate the location for cleanup.
Currently, the area has markers of 100 meters wide on the shoreline that states: “No swimming, this area is under clean up,” for a period of 48 to 72 hours.
“This was an unfortunate incident, but we will not tolerate those who violate the law,” said Puyat.
Earlier this week, a viral video on Facebook showed an alleged Chinese national who allowed her child to defecate in the waters of Boracay while another tourist was spotted burying the child’s used diaper in the sand.
“We encourage the public, who might witness similar incidents, to immediately report offenders to the proper authorities so that they can be promptly apprehended and fined accordingly,” tourism secretary said.
“We will continue to coordinate with the tour operators and travel agencies in informing our tourists of the proper travel etiquette when visiting the Philippines and the corresponding fines and punishments if these are not followed,” Puyat added.
Last year, Boracay was closed to tourists for six months in order to give way for its redevelopment. However, despite it being opened to the public in October, the government decided to limit the number of tourists to ensure its sustainability.
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On the other hand, President Rodrigo has already approved the P25-billion Boracay Medium-Term Action Plan, which seeks to preserve and further develop the island resort.
“By essentially institutionalizing the functions of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force with the approval of the Action Plan, we can clearly see the government’s determination to sustain the gains of the initial six-month rehabilitation,” Puyat said earlier.
The Department of Tourism heads economic activities on sustainability which include tourism and livelihood.
“The President’s move assures us of Boracay Island’s sustainable tourism development with the BAP serving as the BIATF’s guide in ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth with continuing opportunities for all stakeholders,” Puyat said.