MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Tourists who insist on partying and drinking on the beach in Boracay despite the ban on such activities will be dealt with under the law.
Malacañang issued this warning following reports that some tourists and business establishments were defying regulations aimed at protecting the island’s natural environment.
“If that is true, then they will be facing charges,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing on Monday (Nov 5).
Panelo, however, said he did not see or hear of any violations when he was in Boracay recently.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier said she had received reports that some tourists and businesses were defying the regulations set by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force.
Parties, she said, took place on the beach with loud music, smoking and drinking.
Before stepping on the island, tourists are required to take an oath, in which they pledge to observe the island’s environmental laws and regulations.
Drinking and smoking in public places, partying within the no-build zone easement and sandcastle-making are now prohibited. Kerosene lamps and bonfires are also prohibited on the beach.
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Boracay was reopened to the public on Oct 26, six months after President Rodrigo Duterte called the island “a cesspool” and ordered its closure and rehabilitation.
Puyat has said the authorities would be issuing citation tickets for tourists and business establishments violating the island’s rules.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said an executive order banning casinos from operating in Boracay would be issued soon.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier asked Puyat to urge the President to declare the island “casino-free”.
“It will be coming from the Office of the Executive Secretary. I haven’t received any draft,” Panelo said, adding that he d Guevarra’s legal opinion on the matter.
“The policy of the President is that there should be no casinos in Boracay because he feels that this is a family destination. Families go there and he doesn’t want gambling in Boracay.”