By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) is considering new measures to compel tourists to comply with the rules and regulations in Boracay.
“This move should send a strong message to local and foreign tourists to uphold the government’s advocacy for sustainable tourism and to observe the rules and regulations being implemented while enjoying the island paradise,” BIARMG head Director Natividad Bernardino said in response to a video circulating on social media involving two female foreign nationals—one allowing child to defecate in Boracay’s waters and the other burying a used diaper in the white sand.
According to Bernardino, the BIARMG is considering some new measures to help tourists comply with the rules and regulations in Boracay, particularly the anti-littering ordinance that prohibits littering, urinating, defecating, spitting and dumping trash in public places.
“We are planning to give pamphlets through the airline on the do’s and don’ts on the island especially on the proper way to throw garbage and the policy against defecation at the Boracay beach,” Bernardo said.
The BIARMG head added that they are mulling the inclusion of other foreign languages in the signages installed at the beachfront against littering, smoking and carrying of glass bottles, among others.
“Majority of the foreign visitors are from China and South Korea,” Bernardino noted. “Considering the great proportion of Chinese and Korean visitors relative to the total number of Boracay’s visitors, we should now perhaps include Chinese and Korean languages in the signages, which presently carry warnings only in English.”
Records from the Malay Municipal Tourism Office show that 1,043 violators were reported from January to March this year led by Chinese tourists at 605 violators; followed by South Koreans, 220; and Filipinos, 173.
Bernardino said the foreign nationals featured in the viral poop video are examples of irresponsible tourists who have no respect for Boracay, the locals and their fellow tourists.
“Although it may be considered an isolated incident, we are nonetheless taking this seriously, which is why my office is seeking out to the person who uploaded the video so that substantial information can be made and appropriate actions can be taken on the matter,” Bernardino said.
Citing reports from the Boracay Enhanced Security Strategy and Tactics Police, Bernardino said apprehensions of violators in Phase 1 beachfront have dropped from 270 in April 2019 to 74 on June 8, 2019, while those in Phase II, main road area have decreased from 527 to eight for the same period.