No more smoking, drinking at Boracay white beach
DOT chief also says ‘LaBoracay’ parties no longer allowed
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said smoking and drinking in public places would be banned in Boracay.
“Definitely no more smoking and drinking sa white beach. Why? Because this is a public beach,” Puyat said during the Meet with Inquirer Multimedia forum yesterday.
According to Puyat, the smoking and drinking ban imposed on Boracay Island would ensure the safety of the public walking along the white beach.
She explained that the ban covers not only the beach but other public places in Boracay.
“They can smoke and drink where they stay, in the private, but the long beach has to be protected,” Puyat asserted. “Ito very sure ito, no smoking and drinking in the public places.”
Puyat made the revelation after her meeting with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Eduardo Año last week.
The meeting aimed to discuss the guidelines on how to lower the carrying capacity of the island. However, Puyat explained that this still has to be discussed further.
The call to lower the number of tourist arrivals in Boracay was made after Puyat announced that the island would be no longer be a “party place.”
Meanwhile, tourists going to Boracay Island on its scheduled reopening on October 26 should not expect a spick and span and fully rehabilitated island.
“October is only a soft opening … How can you rehabilitate an island under a state of calamity in only six months?”
“We are managing expectations. It will be open but don’t expect all the roads to be completed,” Puyat said, adding the upgrading of the island’s drainage system would be completed next year.
But she said at least 5,000 rooms would be ready when the island is set to re-open after it was ordered closed to tourists on April 26.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier said a dry-run would be conducted from October 16 to 25 and local tourists, especially Aklanons, would be allowed on the island.
He said this would allow the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force to assess what needs to be done before October 26.
The task force is still finalizing the guidelines for the opening of the island.
But Puyat said what is definite is that “LaBoracay” parties would no longer be allowed.
“LaBoracay” is a term coined for the long Labor Day weekend, where parties and other events were held to draw people to Boracay.
It was also used to refer to other holidays when tourists packed the island and when nonstop beach parties, concerts, and other activities were held on the island’s long beach.
Puyat said these parties usually draw in from 60,000 to 70,000 tourists and partygoers to the island in three days.
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