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DOT releases partial list of compliant hotels and resorts in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 4 September 2018 10:22 AM


Drone shot of Boracay Island


BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – While rehabilitation efforts of the government as well as accreditation of establishments in Boracay are still on-going, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has released a partial list of compliant hotels and resorts on the island.

Twenty-five hotels and resorts are included in the first list of compliant establishments in Boracay island that have complied with the requirements asked by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and DOT.

Based on the list released through DOT’s official Facebook page, a total of 2,063 rooms will be able to receive reservations for the re-opening of the island on October 26.

According to Attorney Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 regional director, the department plans to release updated lists of compliant establishments on a weekly basis.

“We have four teams assigned in Boracay to conduct inspection of the standards according to DOT accreditations of the establishments there. Even if you are DENR compliant, you are DILG compliant, you still have to hurdle the standard requirements of the Department of Tourism to get accredited,” said Catalbas.

Meanwhile, the tourism department also advised tourists planning to visit Boracay Island to avoid making reservations perchance or walk-ins. “We discourage doing ‘chance’ (reservation) in that the moment they arrive in the island, that’s when they will book (for an accommodation). Because perhaps when they arrive on the island and their hotel and resort are not compliant, they could no longer get an accommodation,” Catalbas explained.

Rather than leaving it perchance, the Tourism Department said it would be better to make sure that the establishment they’re planning to stay in while in Boracay is compliant to the requirements of the concerned agencies to avoid inconvenience.

The DOT is targeting 5,000 foreign and local tourists for the re-opening of the island on October 26. – UNTV News & Rescue 




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Beach goers warned against ‘bluebottle jellyfish’ spotted in Boracay Island

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:10 AM

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines — Environment authorities in Western Visayas warned beach goers to steer clear of the venomous ‘bluebottle jellyfish’ spotted ashore the east coast of Boracay Island and along Puka Beach.

‘Bluebottle jellyfish’ venom is powerful enough to kill fishes and their sting is painful, though unlikely life-threatening to humans.

“Although there are no sightings of this species on the front beach, we still appeal to the public to remain vigilant and never touch these creatures as their stingers are still active even if they are out of the water,” According to the advisory of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) posted on DENR-Western Visayas website.

Authorities remind the public that if stung by a “bluebottle jellyfish”, immediately approach the deployed life guards along the beach for first aid.

Although very rare, it is possible that bluebottle sting may result to anaphylactic shock or severe allergic reaction which can be fatal.

In such a case, immediate medical help should be sought.

‘Bluebottle jellyfish’ also known in Atlantic Portuguese as “man-of-war”, is common in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. – Marje Pelayo

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Tourist raises need for medical facilities in Boracay Island after traumatic experience

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 9 January 2019 12:06 PM

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – A tourist aired her concern over lack of emergency medical facilities on the island of Boracay following a traumatic experience she had from their recent trip there.

On her Facebook page, Barbie Chan vented out her disappointment when her daughter had high fever and went into seizure due to a head injury.

The incident happened on December 30, 2018.

“First my daughter had an accident. Parang nabagsakan siya ng something sa head the night before na nagkaroon siya ng fever. Ok that’s the background. That’s why we were panicking while we were there. Kala namin meron siyang concussion,” Barbie said in a phone interview.

It was around 10:00 in the evening when they brought her daughter to a private clinic for consultation.

“Sabi namin, ‘Saan ba meron dito?’ So they were nice enough to bring us to AMC. Dahil iyon lang daw ang ok na clinic. And then I asked, ‘Wala bang hospital?” wala nga daw. Nasa Kalibo pa daw ang hospital,” she said.

When they reached the clinic, her daughter was given a sponge bath and medication for the fever so that it would subside and to prevent further seizures, according to the attending physician.

The said clinic advised Barbie to bring her child to a hospital for proper diagnosis.

Due to delays in the processing of request for air ambulance, the child was airlifted around 12:30 in the afternoon the following day to a hospital in Manila.

Good thing, her condition was not serious. But though her child is now recovering, Chan still calls on the government to establish an emergency medical facility in Boracay.

“I understand na it’s an island. Di ba? So, Syempre I was really not expecting na premera klase yung equipment and all. Pero for me, as a mother, yung Makita mo yung anak mo na tumitirik yung mata and then hindi alam ang gagawin sa clinic na sinasabi nilang most complete, talagang sobrang magpapanic ka talaga,” Barbie said.

The medical clinic where Barbie first brought her daughter issued a statement saying they did everything they could to give the child the service that she needed.

The UNTV News and Rescue Team also tried to reach the management of Ciriaco Tirol Hospital, the only public hospital in Boracay, for comments but no one could answer our query.

Nevertheless, a staff was kind enough to tour the team around the facility.

Ciriaco Tirol Hospital holds an ‘infirmary status’, a category given to medical facilities with only up to 10 bed capacity though it can attend to emergency situations.

However, the facility is limited and is not equipped for severe cases like when a patient needs complicated surgical procedures or examinations such as an MRI for head injury.

The situation calls for the local government of Malay and the provincial government of Aklan as well as the national government to provide and improve the facilities of the hospital.

According to Rowen Aguirre, it was in 2014 when the renovation of Ciriaco Tirol Hospital began but for some unspecified reason, renovation works have not been completed up to now.

“Ang ospital na nga yan yung on-going upgrading 2014 pa yan di pa rin tapos. Ang upgrading dapat tapusin na as soon as possible at nang maayos naman. Kasi yang ospital kasi hindi under sa LGU yan e. The hospital itself is run by the province,” the Malay LGUs executive assistant said.

The island of Boracay is visited by at least 3,000 tourists everyday since it was reopened on October 26, 2018.

The local government is collecting huge amount of revenue from tourism.

According to Barbie, it is but reasonable to establish a state-of-the-art hospital facility on the island, not only for arriving tourists but for the residents of the island as well who deserve the government’s concern and support. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

According to Barbie, it is but reasonable to establish a state-of-the-art hospital facility in the island not only for arriving tourists but for the residents in the island who deserve government concern and support. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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Few hotels, resort lodgings join Boracay reopening

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 26 October 2018 01:48 PM

Aerial shot of Boracay


BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Only a few hotels and resort lodgings were able to comply with the requirements for the reopening of Boracay Island on Friday (October 26).

From more than 400 hotels and resorts, only 157 were able to open after securing permits and environmental compliance certificates for passing the government’s building standards and sewage system requirements.

Construction materials are still visible around Boracay as rehabilitation works are expected to run six more months before completion.

Some establishment owners were compelled to demolish their own structures especially those located within the 30-meter easement zone from the beachfront.

Some of them complained about the waiver that is being required of them before the reopening.

Residential inn owner, Elma Vergara, whose business just opened in March one month before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay, said she was being asked to sign a waiver, otherwise her business would be closed down. This, despite having the necessary permits for reopening.

“If I sign the waiver, it’s like suicide for me because it’s like my land will no longer be mine. It’s like turning over all my property to the government. What will happen to me? I worked in Europe for 24 years to make a living for my family, then this is what will happen to us?” said Vergara.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) explained, however, that Boracay is government-owned and the waiver does not constitute land grabbing.

“The waiver of undertaking is just in case for the future, the government needs the road they’re on, you will pose no objection on that, that you will give [your land] because that is really the government’s. Now, if you don’t sign, then we will not let you operate because the land is the government’s. We are not grabbing their land,” explained DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda.

Antiporda added that “the government is only ensuring that whatever is in Boracay serves the people and not just a few businessmen.” – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)