Press Release
September 28, 2020

Nancy on Boracay opening: Safety should be top priority

Senator Nancy Binay today said safety and health protocols should be the top priority as Boracay is set to open its doors to local tourists on October 1.

"While we recognize that this is a step towards getting the tourism sector and our economy back on track, we would like to remind the Department of Tourism and would-be travellers that health and safety should always be our first priority," Binay said.

Binay cited how the opening of tourism triggered a second wave of infections in Croatia and Vietnam.

"Tingnan din natin yung experience ng Croatia at Vietnam. Perhaps we can learn many lessons from them on why the decision to open the borders to visitors could trigger a resurgence of COVID19 cases," Binay said.

"Both the DOT and the local government of Boracay should tighten health protocols to ensure the safety of all stakeholders," she added

Binay said she is puzzled as to why the DOT is allowing tourists of all ages to enter the island which is inconsistent from the IATF suggestion that minors and senior citizens should stay at home while in GCQ or MGCQ.

"I think marami ang magtatanong why the age restrictions are relaxed pagdating sa Boracay. Pinapayagan ang mga bata na pumasyal at bumyahe, pero bawal sila pumasok sa klase. Sinasabi na dapat physical distancing, pero sa bus at train pinapayagan na natin na magkakalapit. How do we make our messaging clear to the public when government health and safety policies are disconnected and disjointed amongst government agencies?" Binay said.

Binay also urged the DOT to have clear-cut guidelines to avoid confusing tourists. She said the agency should learn from the recent conflicting pronouncements from the IATF and the Tagaytay LGU on the issuance of a travel pass.

"As we have seen, the LGUs have their own guidelines that are sometimes different from the IATF. This makes it very confusing for those who want to travel," Binay said.

DOT had earlier announced that Boracay Island will accept visitors from all over the country starting October.

The agency said it will implement a "Test Before Travel" rule, which requires all visitors to have a negative result of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 48 to 72 hours prior to traveling to Boracay Island.

Travelers aged below 21 and above 60 years old are also allowed to visit Boracay as long as they have no comorbidity or worse health conditions.

"Traveling is still a major virus carrier, at dapat handa din ang LGU to handle the influx of tourists, i-rationalize at i-restrict ang carrying capacity, at dapat ready sila to strictly enforce health protocol compliance in all levels," Binay pointed out.

She added that essential businesses should be certified by the DOT, DOH or IATF if these establishments have fully complied with in retrofitting their operations to the new normal standards.

News Latest News Feed