“By Oct. 26, only the major roads will be built,” Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says. ABS-CBN NEWS

IT WILL take more than a year to completely rehabilitate Boracay Island, Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Thursday.

The Oct. 26 event will only be a “soft opening,” or Phase 1, Puyat said during a congressional hearing on the P3.39-billion proposed 2019 budget of the Department of Tourism.

Phase 2 will be in April next year while the final phase will be in December 2019, said the Tourism secretary.

“By Oct. 26, only the major roads will be built,” Puyat said. “We will have the complete rehabilitation by December 2019.”

Meanwhile the Tourism department has asked airlines to reduce flights entering Boracay Island.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Roy Cimatu has disclosed that Boracay can accommodate only 19,215 tourists.

The island’s total carrying capacity is only 54,945 people a day – 35,730 non-tourists and 19,215 tourists – but its current population stands at 70,781, a commissioned study showed.

Puyat stressed that they wanted to limit the number of tourists in the world-famous destination to around 19,000 at any given time. (With GMA News/PN)

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