PNP readies for Boracay tourist influx

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
PNP readies for Boracay tourist influx
This February 2021 photo shows tourists in Boracay.
Malay Municipal Tourism Office / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police is preparing for the anticipated increase in tourist arrivals in Boracay, one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

Domestic tourists are expected to visit the island with summer approaching and with many areas downgrading their COVID-19 alert levels.

Aklan — where Boracay is — Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz and Negros Occidental are among areas in the Western Visayas that were placed under Alert Level 2 until February 28.

Foreign tourists are also anticipated to visit Boracay after the country opened to vaccinated tourists from visa-free countries.

Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos, PNP chief, said that police units, especially the Tourist Police Units, will continue to enforce the health and safety protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as well as the existing local executive orders and ordinances issued by local government in their area of responsibility.

He said local police were already ordered to boost their anti-criminality measures to ensure the safety and security of both local and foreign tourists and protect them against perpetrators who will take advantage of the eased protocols.

According to Executive Order No. 001-A, Series of 2022 issued by Provincial Government of Aklan, all travelers may now enter Aklan once secure a “Quick Response” or QR Code via online Health Declaration Card (OHDC) through aklan.gov.ph website.

Carlos stressed the need to ensure the security of tourists to help the country’s tourism recovery.

“Ang unti-unting pagdagsa ng mga turista sa Boracay mula sa halos dalawang taon na pansamantalang pagtigil ng operasyon sa buong isla dulot ng pandemya ay isang indikasyon ng muling pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya sa bansa. Ngunit kasabay nito ay kailangan pa rin nating tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng lahat ng mga pumupunta sa isla hindi lamang sa banta ng pandemya kundi pati na rin sa mga nagbabalak na gumawa ng masama”, Carlos said.

In view of this, the PNP chief added that the police force on the island is all geared up for the influx of tourists.

Carlos said establishments in Boracay are allowed by the local government to operate from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following morning.

“We assure the public that our five Boracay Sub-Stations in Malay, Aklan with 306 tourist police are well equipped and always ready to provide 24/7 police response especially in conspicuous places along beachfront, hotels, bar and restaurants,” he said.

Aside from the increased police visibility, the national government also facilitated the COVID-19 vaccination of essential workers, tourists and children.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that these would add protection to visitors, workers and locals alike.

Last week, she said tourists can walk in and have their booster shots administered by licensed pharmacists on the island.

The Department of Tourism’s Boracay Filed Office was also ordered to continue conducting inspections to ensure that minimum health and safety guidelines are observed.

Meanwhile, Carlos advised those who are planning to spend their summer vacation on the island to remain vigilant and follow the safety protocols at all times.

The island recorded 35,799 tourists in January 2022 which is a 200.88% jump from its tourist arrival in the same period last year.

Malay-Boracay Tourism Office said Boracay logged 26,671 domestic tourists on the island and 20 foreign visitors as of February 13.







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