MANILA - Establishments that fail to comply with government regulations in tourist island Boracay should "delete" online promotional materials and stop booking rooms "until complete compliance with government regulations," the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Saturday.
This as the agency girded for the reopening of the island on Oct. 26 following six months of rehabilitation. It warned that non-compliant hotels and other establishments that accept bookings will face the "full force of law."
In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, the DOT said non-compliant establishments "are hereby strongly advised to cease and desist from making room bookings or sale of occupancy starting October 26, 2018 onward."
"All online promotions and other related collateral should be deleted or put on hold until complete compliance with government regulations shall have been accomplished," the statement read.
"Those found violating the terms of this advisory shall be dealt with full force of law," the DOT said without specifying specific sanctions for violators.
As of Oct. 12, only 68 out of the estimated 600 resorts and accommodations in Boracay have complied with government requirements and have been authorized to receive guests upon the island's reopening, the DOT said.
Under the island's new rules set by the interior and environment departments, establishments are expected to keep its facilities at least 30 meters away from the island's waters, and must either have their own sewage treatment facility or be connected to authorized sewage lines.
Boracay was closed to tourists in April for a 6-month rehabilitation shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte said its once pristine waters had turned into "cesspools."
The island has grappled with sewage problems and haphazard development.
One of the world's best known beach destinations, the island is set to reopen on Oct. 26 with stricter policies on tourist arrivals and activities.
The government earlier said it was working on policies to reduce the number of accommodations to 249 to keep the 19,000-tourist cap on the island.