Boracay task force warns tourists vs unregistered operators

AKLAN, Philippines – The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF)  on Saturday, November 3, issued a warning to tourists after it allowed some water sport activities to operate.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said non-motorized outdoor activities such as kayaking, parasailing, and stand-up paddling are alllowed but these should be done through registered operators.

The task force reminded tourists to refrain from transacting wtih free agents for pre-booked water sports activities. Instead, tourists should coordinate with registered water sports operators or with their hotels or resorts.

Prior to the Boracay closure, the local police intensified the crackdown on the growing number ok unregistered operators and tour guides who took advantage of their guests.

Cimatu said towable watersports like diving, parasailing, banana boat, and jet skiing will be permitted on November 7. Island hopping will be allowed on November 15.

The island hopping activities in nearby islands, however, is temporarily suspended until the local government of Malay, Aklan, has checked their compliance with environmental laws.

The task force also set zoning and designated anchorage areas to regulate the water sports activities to protect the corals and marine biodiversity in the island.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) earlier conducted marine diversity study to assess the coral condition, fish population, and anchorage areas around the island.

The "new" Boracay Island formally opened on October 26 to tourists after 6 months of temporary closure.

It had been observed, however, that some tourists continued to leave their trash, and drink and dine on the beach. – Rappler.com