MANILA - The government is set to build a beach front accommodation and an organic restaurant in Boracay to be managed and run by members of the island's Ati tribe, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said two months after the famed tourist destination was closed for rehabilitation.
Members of the Ati tribe will be trained and will receive technical support to run an organic restaurant to be established in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Piñol said in a statement.
The location of "tribal vacation cottages" for tourists has yet to be announced but Piñol said it would have a view of the beach.
"Tribal vacation cottages fronting the beach [will be built for] tourists who would like to have a unique experience... [they] could stay in cottages made out of indigenous building materials, take a bath using 'tabo' (water dipper) and earthen jars using organic soap made out of 'Gumamela' (Hibiscus) flowers and take a sip of the 'rice coffee called 'sara-sara' by the natives," he said.
A solar-powered vegetable greenhouse and solar-powered irrigation systems will also be built to make the Ati village in Boracay more sustainable, the agriculture chief said.
"Our target is to operate these facilities in time for the reopening of Boracay Island on October 26 this year," Piñol said.
Boracay island was closed to tourists on April 26, two months after President Rodrigo Duterte said its beaches have turned into "cesspools."
The island, a world-renowned beach destination, has been grappling with sewage woes and overcrowding.
Among some 36,000 workers who lost their source of income due to the 6-month closure were members of the Ati tribe who were employed in tourism establishments or were selling handicraft and snacks along the island's white beach.