Boracay holds soft opening on October 26, cap set on tourists
When Boracay reopens next month, authorities will limit the number of visitors to 19,250 in a single day to make sure one of the Philippines' main tourist spots will not be abused.
Interior and Local Government Secretary-OIC Eduardo Ano told reporters on Wednesday this will be the norm when a dry run will be held on October 15 and a soft opening on October 26.
"The maximum carrying capacity of the tourist is placed to 19,250 in a single day. Equate this with a three-day stay, so 6,000 tourists a day. We can manage that" said Ano.
Ano said October 26 is a sof opening because it takes two years to totally rehabilitate Boracay. But he said in just six months "we have done a lot."
For the whole year, Boracay visitors do not surpass 19,000 on the average but with special activities like La Boracay, which a festive atmosphere on the island, the numbers increase, said Ano. La Boracay will not held anymore, he added.
"It goes to about 80,000 because of those going there in March or if La Boracay is held. There will be no more La Boracay." said Ano. "There is no abuse or degradation."
Ano said many facilities are not complaint with legal or environmental requirements.
"Out of 454, only 225 firms are compliant on the ease of doing business. But on the requirement of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( DENR)... I think 71 are in the list. Those accredited by the Department of Tourism are only 25," he said.
Ano said there are some facilities that are 95 percent complaint. "By ( October) 26, we could say many will be open," he said
Seventeen local officials will be charged with administrative and criminal offenses, he said. He added that DILG asked some officials to be preventively suspended before the Office of the Ombudsman.
"We have a new Ombudsman and we had a dialogue with Ombudsman (Samuel) Martires. They are finalizing details on who will be given preventive suspension," he said. DMS