Duterte not likely to visit Boracay Island soon – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 2, 2020   •   205

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans to visit Boracay soon following the island’s reopening to more tourists after a nearly 6-month closure due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang said Friday.

“It’s abnormal times but I’m sure he would love to visit the Boracay as well ‘no. But right now, he’s actually very busy in Malago nowadays, so I don’t think a visit to Boracay in the near future could happen,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Boracay Island on Oct. 1 reopened to tourists from general community quarantine areas.

Around 35 visitors were recorded on its first day of welcoming back tourists.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) earlier issued guidelines for those who want to visit the island.

These requirements include a negative PCR coronavirus test result 48 to 72 hours before their trip, confirmed booking in DOT-accredited hotels in Boracay, and airline tickets. They also need to register online.

The department also reminded tourists to observe physical distancing and strictly follow other health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields.

Roque said he will hold a press briefing at the world-renowned resort island on Monday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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Boracay Island to open on Oct. 1 for residents from GCQ areas

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the proposed reopening of Boracay Island starting October 1 following recommendation from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Such a move is part of the government’s recovery efforts from the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The resumption of tourism in Boracay would mean residents from areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila will soon be allowed to enter the island.

However, the government reminds the public of the strict health and safety protocols that go with the reopening of the famous tourist destination.

One of which is mandatory swab testing for all visitors before they can be allowed entry.

“Isa sa mga requirements na pinag-uusapan iyong RT-PCR (test) bago pumasok doon sa isla (One requirement under discussion is the RT-PCR test before entering the island),” noted Tourism Undersecretary Benito Benzon.

“Mayroon pa ring pagmomonitor ng movements ng mga turista pagpasok sa Boracay, so kailangan may pre-arranged reservations ,may QR code iyan para namomonitor lahat ng pumapasok (Monitoring the movement of tourists inside Boracay remains in place so they need to have pre-arranged reservations, QR code, to monitor every person that comes in),” he added.

For his part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that Boracay is now prepared to accept visitors. 

If in any case, a COVID-19 positive slips into the island, the agency has prepared enough facilities for isolation.

“Doon mismo sa Boracay ay mayroon tayong COVID isolation facility doon. Kung mayroong mag-positive or suspected, dadalhin agad sa mainland [Aklan] (There is a COVID isolation facility inside Boracay. In case someone tests positive or suspected of having the disease, the patient will be transferred immediately to the mainland [Aklan]),” the official said.

Well in place ang nakita namin preparations nila (Their preparations are well in place),” he assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Boracay hospital closes after doctor tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Ciriaco S. Tirol Hospital located on Boracay island is temporarily closed to the public after one of its doctors tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Aklan Provincial Health Office said Monday.

Dr. Cornelio Cuachon Jr., chief of Aklan Provincial Health Office, said the hospital had to be closed after a 37-year old doctor working for the facility contracted coronavirus.

Cuachon said the doctor is currently under strict 14-day isolation after he manifested symptoms of the viral disease.

The doctor was said to have manifested symptoms such as cough and sore throat just days after he traveled to Manila to attend a convention from March 4 to 7.

He returned to Boracay on March 8 and worked at the hospital for over a week before he was advised to undergo quarantine.

“Mayroon siyang ubo, saka sore throat and then colds but hindi na siya nagpakonsulta. After nine days, binigyan siya ng advise na talagang mag-strict quarantine kasi nandoon lang siya sa ospital so mataas ang rate ng transmission,” Cuachon said.

The health official added that the doctor is now recovering from the illness.

Cuachon said, more than 10 hospital workers who had close contact with the infected doctor are also undergoing quarantine.

It is not yet clear when the said hospital will reopen. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)

Boracay stinks of days-old island waste

Marje Pelayo   •   January 2, 2020

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Garbage is everywhere in Boracay Island after days of heavy rains and winds brought about by Typhoon Ursula.

A source sent UNTV images showing piles of garbage along the sidewalks believed to be from households and commercial establishments within the island.

The source said that piles of trash have been there for more than eight days already and that no help from the local government has come to transfer the garbage even domestic wastes out of the island.

Power lines are still cut except for the main roads which causes heavier burden to residents because the price of fuel particularly diesel has soared to P57/L – P67/L.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) explained that the typhoon not only affected the garbage collectors but it also damaged their equipment.

“Ang tunay pong sitwasyon ay biktima po ang mga kasama natin diyan na maglilinis nung Boracay, (The real situation there is, even our men who are supposed to collect and clear the garbage were also victims or affected by the typhoon,)” noted Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.

What’s worse, the official said, is that residents lack discipline.

They keep on piling garbage even right after the previous batch has been collected.

The Department, nevertheless, promised to send additional personnel and dump trucks to collect the garbage and clear the island.

Antiporda also confirmed allowing exemptions to permit the delivery of petroleum products into the island. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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