Senator wants strict implementation of tourist limit in Boracay
Robie de Guzman • October 22, 2019 • 838
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay has called on the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) to strictly implement the carrying capacity of the island ahead of the expected influx of tourists in the coming months.
In a statement, Binay said the BIATF should provide an update on the status of the frameworks it set in monitoring the number of tourists visiting Boracay, as well as their evaluation and recommendations on the tourist limit policy it implemented.
The senator noted that the government imposed a limit of 6,405 daily tourist entries when Boracay reopened after its six-month rehabilitation last year.
She also stressed that only 19,000 tourists will be allowed in Boracay at any given day, and workers on the island must not exceed 15,000 per day to be able to maintain the 55,000 carrying capacity of the island.
“Dapat po ay natuto na tayo sa naging mga pagkakamali – sa ‘di pagpapatupad ng batas, sa pagbabalewala sa kalikasan, at sa unli-turista sa isla,” Binay said.
The lawmaker also urged the inter-agency council to make sure that establishments in Boracay are complying with environmental laws.
“Sana ‘di ito ningas-cogon lamang dahil sayang lang ang ating magandang nasimulan para sa isla, at itaas po natin ang pamantayan na ating inilagay para mapangalagaan ang isla,” Binay added.
One major component of the Boracay rehabilitation is the implementation of the “25+5-meter” easement along the beach.
This means no structures are allowed to be put up within the 30-m area along the beach.
Structures that encroached on the easement along the white beach at the western side of the island have been removed by the owners or demolished by BIATF.
Binay also suggested that authorities consider training personnel that would brief tourists on the “dos and don’ts” on the island.
“Maliit lang na bagay ito, but I think it would go a long way in making sure tourists are aware of the things that are allowed or prohibited,” the senator said.
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay is pushing for deployment of safety marshalls in ‘staycation’ hotels as well as in government quarantine facilities to ensure that standard health protocols are properly observed and implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Binay’s call comes after reports that some establishments lack the resolve to impose government health standards such as the case with the hotel in Makati City where the Christine Dacera case occurred.
The lady senator said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) may tap the services of barangay officials for the matter.
She added that these barangay officials should be trained first on what to do and be properly oriented for the job.
In case of violations, it is also a must that the owners of the staycation facility be held responsible.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay has called on the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) to review its existing policies which allow retirees as young as 35 years old to stay in the country.
In a statement, Binay said the PRA should revisit its policies, do a background check and implement a stricter vetting process “to lessen the probability of foreign nationals exploiting the special resident retiree visas (SRRV).”
“It’s high time to review the policy na 35 years old ka lang ay pwede ka na mag-retire dito sa Pilipinas kasi ang kailangan lang po ng magre-retire ay either mag-deposit siya ng US$50,000 sa bangko, or bumili ng condo unit worth P2.5 million at pwede nang mag-retire dito,” she said.
Binay issued the call after some senators expressed alarm upon learning in a Senate hearing that foreigners aged 35 years old and above are eligible for the SRRV.
It was also revealed during the hearing that Chinese nationals are among the top foreign retirees in the country.
Binay also hit the “seemingly relaxed national security policy” on allowing Chinese nationals who are 35 years old, which she says falls in the bracket of the so-called “soldier’s age.”
“Siguro dapat dagdagan din ang security measure at baka dapat higpitan ang vetting process ng mga tatanggapin natin regardless of nationality,” she said.
She also said that she finds the PRA’s age limit concerning and noted how foreigners can exploit this to work in the country without going through the proper channels.
“Alam naman natin at 35 years old malakas pa po ang katawan niyan. Lalong-lalo po mayroon tayong problema ngayon na kung saan may issue tayo na apparently ang mga kababayan natin ay nagkakaroon ng job displacement pagdating dito sa pagpasok ng mga Chinese nationals sa ating bansa,” she said.
“Pwede (ang mga yan ay) nagtatrabaho sa POGO, or pwede rin po baka nandiyan sila sa Divisoria. Kaya nga po magandang tingnan at pag-aralan kasi baka kumbaga ginagamit nila itong paraan to circumvent the law na hindi sila puwedeng mag-trabaho dito,” she added
Data from the PRA showed there are a total of 70,520 foreign retirees in the Philippines. Of this number, Chinese nationals comprise the highest number of foreign retirees or about 40%.
This is followed by Korean retirees at around 14,000, and Indian nationals at about 6,000.
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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