BORACAY – A special unit that enforces local ordinances and national laws in this famed beach destination has already recorded 468 violations in the first three weeks since it was established.
The Boracay Enhanced Security Strategy and Tactics (BESST) – whose operations began on Feb. 21 – was created to regulate activities in the island resort under an executive order issued by Malay mayor Abram Sualog.
It gained support from the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group, Metro Boracay Police Task Force, Tourism Regulatory Enforcement Unit, Malay Auxiliary Police, 2nd Aklan Provincial Mobile Force Company, beach guards, and barangay officials.
As of March 15, P573,500 worth of fines have been recorded from 468 violations caught by the special enforcement unit.
Violations against Municipal Ordinance (MO) 132 series of 2000, which prohibits vendors to do business on the beachfront, had the most number with 102.
Entry of motorbikes and tricycles and serving and eating food in the beach area are also not allowed under the ordinance.
Smoking offenses – under MO 272 series of 2009 amended by MO 309 series of 2012 – followed with 88 cases.
Violations against MO 312 series of 2012, which forbids carrying glass bottles while strolling at Boracay beaches, had 57 cases.
This was followed by offenses under MO 181 series of 2002, which regulates the activities of vendors, peddlers, masseurs, and manicurists in the island, with 46 cases.
Thirty-eight violations included littering under MO 311 series of 2002 and offenses under MO 164 series of 2002, which regulates tourist guide activities.
Twelve cases were also recorded for violating MO 362, which regulates unmanned aerial vehicles and drones in Boracay.
Four cases of violating MO 180 series of 2002 – which covers the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and loading and unloading of cargoes – were recorded, too.
The BESST also reported four cases of public defecation and urination – offenses under MO 116 series of 1998.
Other violations were offenses against MO 203 series of 2003 (regulation on mobile photographers), MO 111 series of 1997 (advertising without securing the mayor’s permit) and MO 141 series of 2001 (ban on extraction of white sand and pebbles). (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)