'We have to move on': Re-opening of Boracay agreed upon by all stakeholders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2020 07:39 PM

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MANILA - All stakeholders approved the reopening of Boracay island in the central Philippines to tourists, the president of the Boracay Foundation Inc. said Thursday.

According to Edwin Raymundo, they have been conducting weekly meetings with local and provincial government officials, as well as other stakeholders to discuss how to revive the economy.

"Noong mapunta ho kami sa GCQ category, every week ho, nagmi-meeting na ho ang local government, pati ang provincial, at pati ang stakeholders ho sa island, to enhance and to know what are the things that we need, aside from the IATF protocol health procedure," he told ABS-CBN"s TeleRadyo.

(When we were put under GCQ, local and provincial government officials, and stakeholders meet weekly to enhance and to know what are the things that we need, aside from the IATF protocol health procedure.)

Raymundo said stakeholders, of course, were in favor of the decision to accept tourists again.

"Approved ho sila. We have to start the business in the island. Karamihan ho sa mga residente dito sa island eh mga nagtatrabaho rin ho sa mga resort, mga establishment... Nahihirapan na rin ho sila," he said.

(They approve of the decision. We have to start the business in the island. Most of the residents here in the island work in the resorts and the establishments here. They are also having a hard time.)

"We have to restart the economy. We have to move on," Raymundo added.

The Department of Tourism on Wednesday announced Boracay will accept travelers from all over the country beginning October 1.

All tourists will be required to present a negative confirmatory test result for COVID-19 taken 48 to 72 hours prior to their travel, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Airlines are advised to use the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan as the sole point of entry to Boracay, she added.

In June, the island opened to residents of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Bacolod and Iloilo. It had closed last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines, as of Thursday, has 296,755 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,127 deaths and 231,928 recoveries.

Boracay, known for its sprawling white sand beach, was closed for six months in 2018 to undergo rehabilitation.