MANILA, Philippines – As Boracay closure is nearing, the government has yet to release implementing rules and regulations on paper, leaving the public to just hold on to statements from government officials.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III announced on Thursday, April 12, that the agency had begun writing the guidelines, working with a raw 8-item list he sent to Rappler.
Boracay is set to be "shut down" starting on April 26, after President Rodrigo Duterte described the famous island paradise as a "cesspool."
Read the rules Densing sent to Rappler below:
1. No going beyond Jetty Port. Identified tourists will not be allowed into the island and will be stopped at the Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan.
2. No ID, no entry. Residents/workers/resort owners will be allowed entry into the island subject to the presentation of identification cards specifying a residence in Boracay. All government-issued IDs will be recognized. Non-government IDs are acceptable as long as they are accompanied by a barangay certification of residency.
3. Swimming for locals only. Generally, swimming shall not be allowed anywhere on the island. However, residents may be allowed to swim only at Angol Beach in station 3 from 6 am to 5 pm.
4. One condition for entry. No visitors of Boracay residents shall be allowed entry, except under emergency situations, and with the clearance of the security committee composed of DILG representative, police, and local government officials.
5. Journalists need permission to cover. Media will be allowed entry subject to prior approval from the Department of Tourism, with a definite duration and limited movement.
6. No floating structures. No floating structures shall be allowed up to 15 kilometers from the shoreline.
7. Foreign residents to be checked. The Bureau of Immigration will revalidate the papers of foreigners who have found a home in Boracay.
8. One entry, one exit point. There will only be one transportation point to Boracay Island. Authorities have yet to decide where.
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.