Starting Thursday, April 26, 2018, no foreign or local tourists will be allowed to enter the world-class Boracay Island resort in the central Philippines as it undergoes undergoes environmental rehabilitation for the next six months.
The Department of Tourism issued an advisory on Wednesday saying that identified tourists will be stopped at the jetty port if they would attempt to enter the island. Only residents, workers and resort owners with proper identification cards and terminal passes will be allowed access to the island.
Moreover, the DOT said that only residents will be allowed to swim in designated beach.
Not even visitors of Boracay residents will be allowed entry into the island “except under emergency situations with the clearance security of the (government) security committee,” the DOT said.
About 2 million tourists pour into Boracay every year to enjoy the popular resort island’s powdery white sand and calm blue waters.
Malay Mayor Ciceron Calawaing and Caticlan port administrator Never Maquirang vowed to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to close the island for six month to give way to the government’s efforts to clean up and rehabilitate the island.
Already, armed security personnel have been sent to provide “maximum” security to the island. Some 600 policemen will be sent to the island to maintain peace and order, the police said.
The shut-down will affect the lives of nearly 47,000 residents on the island.
The sixth month closure of Boracay will cost the Philippine economy about 1.96 billion pesos (roughly 34.5 million U.S. dollars), according to Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.