Tourists in Boracay have to follow law, or they'll be charged, Malacanang says
Foreign and local tourists visiting Boracay in Aklan province should follow the law as Malacanang said on Thursday a recent defacation incident along the shore of the island was insulting.
"We feel insulted with such discourtesy done in the beautiful island this Administration recently rehabilitated with intense and collective efforts employed by various departments and agencies of the government," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.
He was reacting to a viral video in social media sites about an alleged Chinese woman allowing her child to defecate on the beachfront area in Station 1 of Boracay. A diaper with human waste was even reportedly buried on the beach.
The incident prompted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to order the temporary closure of the 100-meter long shoreline in Station 1 to clean the area.
"We commend the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the swift action in ordering an immediate clean-up in the portion of Boracay where the incident allegedly took place," Panelo said..
He said the Palace also lauds the Department of Tourism for taking the right step of coordinating with tour operators and travel agencies on the proper travel etiquette in the Philippines so as to avoid a similar occurrence from taking place again.
"Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected ? whether foreigner or Filipinos alike… tourist, whatever ? they have to follow rules," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
He said the woman involved in the incident could face charges.
"That obviously is a violation, so they will be subject to administrative or rather suits. So we would advice them to?if they are here in the Philippines, they have to follow the rules," the official said.
He asked locals and foreign nationals to help in maintaining surroundings and communities clean and safe for everyone.
Panelo also urged local government units in Aklan, including Boracay, to strictly implement anti-littering ordinance and apprehend violators accordingly.
He also acknowledged the need to construct public toilets near the beach.
"Maybe we should ask also the Boracay… whoever are responsible for that place, to have available restrooms all over," he said.
The government closed last year Boracay from tourists for six months to rehabilitate the area after President Rodrigo Duterte likened the island to a "cesspool." Celerina Monte/DMS