‘New war’ looms in Boracay – task force

PRISTINE BEACH. Since concluding an extensive six-month makeover, Boracay Island has had to scale back from “party central” to something more laid-back. For now, most tourists do not mind the more mellow experience. STRAITSTIMES

BORACAY ISLAND – The government task forces in Boracay Island are waging a new war in the beachfront – sans bullets and guns – to protect the island.

The so-called “Battle of the Front Beach” on Feb. 21 of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) and Metro Boracay Police Task Force (MBPTF) aims to divide the four-kilometer main beach into four designated and disciplined zones.

The “new war” targets erring individuals and establishments in the island who failed to comply the necessary environmental and business permits, and the rules and regulations.

Sa tulong at collaboration ng law enforcement units ang buong kahabaan ng main beach, may full blast implementation tayo sa Pebrero 21. Patuloy ang ating pagbabantay sa main beach at sa buong isla. May mga do’s and don’ts tayo, sundin lang natin,” Al Rulfo, BIATF deputy ground commandeer said.

To achieve this, the task forces will engage more fully and put into practice the Boracay Enhanced Security Strategy and Tactics (BESST), a three-phase project in the implementation of local ordinances, and rules and regulations in the island.

The strategy envisions to address the increasing number of sex workers and ambulant vendors, smoking, littering and drinking in prohibited areas, and unauthorized business transactions in the main beach, main road and the rest of Boracay Island.

As of Feb. 8, 316 accommodation establishments with 11,612 available rooms completed the requirements of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Tourism (DoT) and are allowed to accept bookings and reservations.

Since last year, the lead agency BIATF engaged in a ‘war’ to clean up the island and to address the government wetlands intrusion, shoreline easement, solid waste management, and existence of illegal structures along the main road.

The popular island destination was temporarily closed to tourists on April 26, 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte and re-opened six months after upon the recommendations of BIATF. (Akean Forum/PN)


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