Duterte in Boracay to lead distribution of land certificates
President Duterte skipped the reopening of the resort island last Oct. 26, saying he did not want much fanfare over the island’s rehabilitation.
Walter Bollozos/File
Duterte in Boracay to lead distribution of land certificates
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte leads today the ceremonial distribution of certificates of land ownership in Boracay more than a week after the island reopened to the public.

The event will be held in Barangay Manoc-Manoc with Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriociones, Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Diño and local officials accompanying the President.

Duterte skipped the reopening of the resort island last Oct. 26, saying he did not want much fanfare over the island’s rehabilitation.

The President ordered the total closure of the world-renowned tourist destination after calling it a cesspool that must be rehabilitated.

Duterte said earlier he does not want any welcome banners when he goes there for a visit and that he wants local residents to enjoy their island, which is why he put some areas under land reform.

But some tourism stakeholders are still confused as to how the rules and regulations set by the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF) would be implemented following the reopening of the island to tourists.

Thirty-five more establishments in the island have been given the go signal to operate following compliance with the requirements of the BIATF.

“As far as the guidelines on Boracay are concerned, there is undoubtedly still some confusion as to what is allowed and what is not,” Jose Clemente, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), told The STAR.

Clemente’s statement came a few days after some tourism stakeholders were reported to have violated the guidelines by playing loud music, holding beach parties and smoking and drinking in public places.

But as far as Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is concerned, she said the BIATF is “merely enforcing” local ordinances, national laws and executive orders that have already been in effect even before Boracay was closed.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is a member of the BIATF along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Clemente acknowledged Puyat’s statement but reiterated that the implementation of the guidelines may need to be revisited “to be clear to both sides.”

Noting that Boracay has just reopened, he said that both the tourism stakeholders and the government “need to be patient and work together to iron out the wrinkles.”

More accommodations

The DOT released yesterday an updated list of establishments that could provide accommodations to tourists.

There are now a total of 197 Boracay establishments that can accept visitors or a total of 8,277 rooms.

These are the 35 new establishments and their number of rooms accredited by the DOT: Abozza Resort (13); Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds (27); Alamo Bay Inn (10); B Pod Hotel (8); Blue Bamboo Resort (10): Boracay Amor Apartments (18); Boracay Backpackers (17); Boracay Royale Residence Inn (27); Crown Regency Beach Resort (87); Crown Regency Courtyard Resort/Annex(46); Crown Regency Prince Resort (36); De Paris Resort Corp. (16); E&F Kawayan Terrace (6).

The others are: Eclipse Resort Boracay (10); Friday’s Resort Boracay (50); G Executive Boracay (18); La Carmela de Boracay Hotel and Convention Center (Premier Wing) (281); La Soleil Beach Resort (7); Lime Hotel Boracay (46); Lola’s Lodge (6); Mayumi Beach House (5); Niu Ohana East Bay Apartments (11); Oasis Resort and Spa (17); Roger’s Place Guest House (2); Sandal’s Inn (2); Sheena’s Beach Resort-Main (11); Shore Time Hotel-Main (38); Shorebreak Boracay (8); Sundown Beach Studios (4); Turtle Inn Resort (14); Urban Boutique Hotel (14); Villa Kalibo (4); Wendy’s Apartelle (22); White Beach de Boracay-Annex (10); and Zuzuni Boutique Hotel (14).

The BIATF cleared 157 accommodation establishments with a total of 7,308 rooms on Oct. 25, a day before the reopening of Boracay.

Puyat earlier said the BIATF will continue to accredit compliant accommodation establishments that pass the standards of the agency.

“More rooms will be available as we continue on with Phases 2 and 3 of Boracay’s massive rehabilitation. We are making sure the task force requirements are 100 percent complied with,” Puyat said.

The BIATF earlier urged the public to avoid transactions with establishments that have not yet secured the necessary clearances, permits and/or accreditation from the DOT, DENR and DILG, and thus have no assurance to reopen. – With Christina Mendez, Catherine Talavera

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