'Normal yan': Mayor admits Boracay tourist cap breached during Holy Week

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2022 10:51 AM | Updated as of Apr 19 2022 11:08 AM

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News
Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The acting mayor of Malay in Aklan said Tuesday he would explain to government agencies why Boracay Island exceeded its tourist capacity during Holy Week.

"Well i-explain namin 'yan. Normal naman 'yan kasi alam mo for almost 2 years kasi ang Boracay talagang nahirapan. Walang halos bisita," Malay acting mayor Frolibar Bautista told ANC's "Rundown".

"Nag-expect talaga na maraming darating pero 'yun na nga hindi na naisipan nag-exceed na pala," he added.

During Holy Week, the number of tourists on Boracay Island breached its state-mandated carrying capacity of 19,000, which was set by the government after the world-famous destination underwent rehabilitation in 2018.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has said 21,252 and 22,519 vacationers arrived on the island on April 14 and 15, respectively. 

She has since urged action against local government officials of Malay for alleged violation of health and safety protocols.

Aklan is under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 until April 30.

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Meanwhile, a tourism official said they didn't expect that many tourists would be coming to Boracay Island by land.

"More people are doing other mode of transportation because in the previous month, we are looking at 80 to 90 percent of people traveling by air," Cristine Mansinares, director of Department of Tourism-Western Visayas, also told "Rundown".

"So, we did not expect, even the LGU, that more will be using the land travel to go to the island."

The daily seat capacity of airlines in Boracay Island is set at over 5,000.

As Aklan remains under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Mansinares reminds tourists they have to apply for a QR code, stay in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment and sign up a health declaration form.

For the upcoming Labor Day holiday, she said they would be "more conscious on the volume of tourists coming in" on the famed island.

"Because we really wanted to promote quality experience for our guests. So it's more on the relaxation, serenity of the place and Boracay now is really ideal for family trips," she said.

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