A stretch of Boracay beach was closed to the public after a female tourist allowed her child to defecate at the water’s edge.
In a video uploaded to social media yesterday (Tuesday, August 13) the woman can be holding her child over the water while another woman allegedly buries a soiled diaper in the sand.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the pair were tourists from mainland China. In April, we reported how visitors from that country had proven to be the most prolific violator’s of the island’s strict new rules.
In response, authorities today closed a section of Boracay’s Station 1 for up to 72 hours while a cleanup is conducted. The section of sand near the iconic Willy’s Rock is expected to reopen on Friday morning.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said efforts were being made to track down the two women and file charges against them.
“Whoever is the violator, whether a foreigner or Filipino, should be accosted, there are penalties involved,” she said.
Authorities are now working with group tour operators to help identify the women.
Natividad Bernardino, chief of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group said they were also trying to locate where the alleged diaper was buried.
She added that local authorities were due to discuss ways to prevent similar incidents from happening.
“We are planning to give pamphlets through the airline on the do’s and don’ts on the island especially on the proper way to throw garbage and policy against defecation at the Boracay beach,” she said.
While disappointed with the women’t actions, Ms Puyat found a silver lining in the incident. “The good thing there is that Filipinos are conscious and they want to keep Boracay clean. If they see any wrongdoing, report to us so we can accost those responsible swiftly because we cannot tolerate this,” she said.
Boracay is covered by Malay town’s “Anti-Littering Law”, which prohibits defecate, urinate and spit in public places.
The white-sand resort island reopened last October after a six-month ‘environmental rehabilitation’. The cleanup came after President Duterte described the resort as “a cesspool”.