Visitors to Boracay may be required to wear compulsory access bracelets throughout their stay, environmental bosses have suggested today.
As we have previously reported, tourists could also be required to register with an online database if they visit after the island’s reopening on October 26.
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said today (Thursday, September 27) that tourists would have to state before arrival exactly how long they intended to stay.
He also suggested that the access bracelet could be loaded with a cash value and serve as an alternative payment scheme.
“It is still on the drawing board and will still be finalised,” Antiporda told the Inquirer.
However, some business operators said the compulsory wearing of access bracelets would be at odds with the white-sand island’s laid back ambience.
We have previously reported how the reopened island will come with a complete smoking and drinking ban along all of its shoreline. Tourism chiefs say they want the future Boracay to be a “haven of peace” rather than a party island.
There are also plans to impose strict limits on the number of people allowed to be on the island at any given time. It is believed that the number of tourists will be capped at somewhere below the 20,000 mark.
Under previous proposals, all visitors, workers and residents would have been compelled to apply for an official access card via the same online database.
President Duterte ordered Boracay’s closure to all visitors in April, after declaring it to be a “cesspool”. Since then, contradictory reports about the success of the ongoing six-month “environmental rehabilitation” have emerged from island. Recent photos shared by a bar owner, for example, showed chaotic scenes of work in progress but far from completion.
The Department of Tourism has now said that the target date for full reopening — October 26 — would only be a “soft opening” for local visitors.