Tourism department clarifies no room limits in Boracay

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2018 03:12 PM

A foreign tourist finds herself alone walking on Station 2 White Beach in Boracay amid closed establishments and an empty beach on April 30, 2018, days after the island was closed for rehabilitation. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The number of hotel rooms in Boracay will not be limited once the island reopens next week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Tuesday, belying earlier pronouncements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

Environment Undersecretary Sherwin Rigor earlier told ANC’s Headstart that the "DOT will assign [a] certain number of rooms to accommodate" and meet the 19,000-tourist limit for the island.

"DOT does not limit the number of hotel rooms in the island. We only accredit those who are compliant with the standards," the tourism department said in a statement.

As of October 12, only 68 hotels and resorts have complied with the government's requirement to either have their own sewage treatment facility or be connected to accredited sewage pipes, and have their facilities moved at least 30 meters away from the shore.

"There is no deadline for submitting requirements; once compliant, we accredit and they can open," the DOT said.

Stricter building and operating guidelines were imposed on businesses in Boracay in a bid to rehabilitate the overcrowded and polluted beach destination.

Boracay was closed to tourists last April 26 after President Rodrigo Duterte said its waters had turned into "cesspools."