MANILA – Only about a third of hotel rooms on Boracay island will be open for booking on Oct. 26, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Thursday.
Authorities might release a list of establishments compliant with government regulations to help tourists who want to book rooms when the island reopens, she told DZMM radio.
“Baka kami ang magre-release ng mga compliant para guided sila (We might release the list of compliant establishments so that they will be guided),” Romulo-Puyat said.
Out of the total 15,000 hotel rooms on the island, compliant establishments represent only 3,000 to 5,000 rooms, Romulo-Puyat earlier said.
The rest, she said, have yet to fully comply with requirements set by the tourism, environment, and interior and local government departments.
The tourism chief said she visited the island to inspect the status of the rehabilitation, which began with Boracay's closure in April. The part of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is on track, she said.
The island was closed last April to give way to a massive cleanup and the rehabilitation of its roads and sewerage system after President Rodrigo Duterte called the tourist destination a "cesspool."
One of the country's most popular beach destinations, Boracay has been plagued with sewage problems and overcrowding, with hotels and shops violating zoning and environment regulations.
Private companies such as the Aboitiz Group partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to rehabilitate the island's wetlands.
-- with a report by Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News