‘All systems go’ for Boracay reopening: PNP

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MANILA — It is ‘all systems go’ for the reopening of Boracay Island to tourists on Oct. 26, a Philippine National Police (PNP) official said.

“All systems go. In fact on Oct. 25, we are conducting the capability demonstration wherein the chief PNP (Oscar Albayalde) will grace the occasion. And we have a series of activities that will be done in Boracay,” Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office-6 director, said in press conference in Camp Crame on Monday.

“We are well-prepared insofar as equipage, the number of personnel needed, the facilities especially the buildings dahil mayroon kaming mga substations na kinonstruct doon sa lugar (because we have substations that are being constructed in the area). We transferred the Malay Police Station (Headquarters) and many more. We will be having a press briefing on October 25 in the island,” he added.

Bulalacao also assured that the local police is ready to enforce ordinances on the island, especially those with punitive provisions.

Six months after it was closed for rehabilitation, more than 1,300 people visited the island at the start of the 10-day dry run of Boracay’s reopening on Oct. 15.

However, photos of garbage dumped in areas within the island went viral on social media and enraged some netizens.

Earlier, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it will allow citizens’ arrests against littering in the island.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Benny Antiporda said this is to prevent the same scenario during the first day of the dry run when trash was found on the beach.

Antiporda said that aside from locals, they are also tapping businesses to help enforce the anti-littering ordinance of Boracay Island, known as the “Anti-Littering Ordinance of Malay Municipal No. 311”. Fines and imprisonment await violators, he warned.

Antiporda said members of the Compliant Association of Boracay (CAB), a group of hotels, resorts, and restaurants on the island, were given accreditation by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“The CAB would deputize its members to become Boracay marshals,” he said, adding that each establishment is required to have pollution control officers.

CAB member establishments, he added, would also install trash bins, especially on the beachfront.

In a previous interview, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said environmental enforcers will be deployed to patrol Boracay’s beaches starting on reopening day.

The campaign against single-use plastic will also be strictly implemented on the island. –PNA

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