68 Bo­ra­cay ho­tels get green light for re­open­ing

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CATHER­INE TA­LAV­ERA

The De­part­ment of Tourism (DOT) has listed 68 ac­com­mo­da­tion es­tab­lish­ments al­lowed to op­er­ate dur­ing the re­open­ing of Bo­ra­cay on Oct. 26.

The DOT said only ac­cred­ited es­tab­lish­ments would be al­lowed to ac­cept book­ings for the re­open­ing of the re­sort is­land.

It said all on­line pro­mo­tions and other re­lated col­lat­er­als of non-com­pli­ant es­tab­lish­ments should be deleted or

put on hold un­til com­plete com­pli­ance with govern­ment reg­u­la­tions have been ac­com­plished.

“Vi­o­la­tors will face the full force of the law,” it said.

The up­dated list of 68 ac­com­mo­da­tion es­tab­lish­ments trans­lated to a to­tal of 3,519 rooms that are com­pli­ant with the re­quire­ments of the Bo­ra­cay In­ter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) and can be­gin op­er­a­tions when the is­land starts re­ceiv­ing vis­i­tors.

Based on an up­dated list re­leased by the DOT, the com­pli­ant es­tab­lish­ments and the num­ber of their rooms are: 357 Bo­ra­cay Re­sort (10); 7 Stones Bo­ra­cay Suites (31); Alice in Won­der­land Beach Ho­tel (21); As­to­ria Cur­rent Re­sort (205); Aza­lea Ho­tels & Residences (284); Best Western Bo­ra­cay Trop­ics (64); Blue Coral Re­sort (5); Bo­ra­cay Have Re­sort (63); Bo­ra­cay Haven Suites (82); Bo­ra­cay Hol­i­day Re­sort (69); Bo­ra­cay Man­darin Is­land Ho­tel (52); Bo­ra­cay Trav­elodge Beach Re­sort (40); Bo­ra­cay White Coral (5);

Ca­lypso Re­sort Ho­tel (22); Canyon de Bo­ra­cay (31); Casa Pi­lar Beach Re­sort (84); Dave’s Straw Hat Inn (11); Dis­cov­ery Shores Bo­ra­cay (99); El Cen­tro Beach Re­sort (39); Ernest’s Place Re­sort (21); Fair­ways & Blue­wa­ter Re­sort (700); Frendz Bo­ra­cay Hos­tel (8); Frendz Re­sort (19); Green­yard Inn (5); Hamp­stead Bou­tique Ho­tel (8); Hey Jude Re­sort Ho­tel (24); Hey Jude South Beach (19); Hue Ho­tel (Lu­ana Ho­tel) (127); Ho­tel Sof­fia (58);

Isla Azul Bo­ra­cay Ho­tel (14); Isla Gecko Re­sort (16); Is­land Inn (26); Jef­frey S Ho­tel (15); Jony’s Beach Re­sort (21); Jony’s Bou­tique Ho­tel (22); Lady Jean Re­sort (7); Lan­terna Ho­tel (6); Lu­gar Bonito (6); Luxx Bou­tique Ho­tel Bo­ra­cay (11); Mil­flo­res de Bo­ra­cay (Jin­jiang Inn) (10); Moreno’s Cot­tages (6); NigiNigi Nu Noo’s’e; Nunu Noos (37); Nir­vana Beach Re­sort (32); Ocean Breeze (7); Par­adise Gar­den Re­sort Ho­tel & Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (463); Pin­jalo Re­sort (Jade hill Project Prop­erty) (24);

Red Co­conut Beach Ho­tel (50); Reef Re­treat Beach Re­sort (12); Roy’s Ren­de­vous Re­sort & Bun­ga­low (10); Shangri-la Re­sort (219); Shore Time HotelAn­nex (12); Sol Y Som­bra (10); St. Vin­cent Cot­tages (Vi­cente Aguirre Rooms) (27); Sulu Plaza Lodge (12); Sunshine Place (9); Tan’s Guest­house Main (14); Tan’s Guest­house An­nex (14); Taj Re­sort and Spa Main (11); Taj Re­sort and Spa An­nex (18);

The Club Ten Beach Re­sort (20); The Ferra Premier by JG Ho­tel (36); The Lazy Dog Cot­tages (26); The Strand Bou­tique Ho­tel (13); Villa Sim­prosa (24); Villa Sun­set Bo­ra­cay (8); White Beach de Bo­ra­cay (5); White House Beach Re­sort (30).

In Au­gust, only 25 ac­com­mo­da­tion es­tab­lish­ments were cleared by the DOT based on an ini­tial list re­leased by the agency.

Tourism Un­der­sec­re­tary Ar­turo Bon­cato Jr. ear­lier said en­vi­ron­men­tal in­di­ca­tors were im­posed as pa­ram­e­ters in ac­cred­it­ing tourism es­tab­lish­ments in Bo­ra­cay.

“Some of these en­vi­ron­men­tal in­di­ca­tors are... in­stead of us­ing sa­chets for sham­poo, they will have to shift to bulk dis­pensers. Sin­gle use plas­tic bot­tles are go­ing to be dis­cour­aged,” Bon­cato said.

“We have to go back to the basics like us­ing re­fill­able glass bot­tles in bed­rooms and the type of linen that will be used… and so on,” he added.

Bon­cato said they are plan­ning to have in­di­ca­tors in the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of tourism es­tab­lish­ments all over the coun­try.

He said the DOT ac­cred­its es­tab­lish­ments that have com­plied with the per­mits and clear­ances of the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) and the De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment.

Tourism Sec­re­tary Ber­nadette Ro­mulo-Puyat ear­lier said the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the is­land would go be­yond the soft open­ing date of Oct. 26.

“De­spite the soft open­ing, the govern­ment’s ef­forts to re­ha­bil­i­tate should con­tinue as we re­ha­bil­i­tate the is­land in stages,” Puyat said at this year’s Philip­pine Travel Ex­change.

She said com­ple­tion of the first phase of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion would be this month, the sec­ond by the mid­dle of next year and the third by the end of 2019.

“This is to make sure that all tourism es­tab­lish­ments and ser­vice providers are com­pli­ant with the stan­dards set by the govern­ment and that all nec­es­sary in­fras­truc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties are in place,” Puyat said.

The in­ter-agency task force ear­lier said it will be hold­ing a dry run or par­tial open­ing of the is­land from Oct. 16 to 25, to be ready for its full re­open­ing.

“The dry run will al­low us to as­sess what else needs to be done be­fore the is­land is re­opened to all tourists, both do­mes­tic and for­eign, on Oct. 26,” En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roy Ci­matu said.

He said that dur­ing the dry run, only Filipino tourists would be al­lowed en­try to Bo­ra­cay, with lo­cals as pri­or­ity.

Strict mon­i­tor­ing

The govern­ment will closely mon­i­tor com­pli­ance and ef­fec­tive­ness of the guide­lines laid down to pro­tect Bo­ra­cay from un­sus­tain­able tourism prac­tices dur­ing the dry run.

Ci­matu, head of the BIATF, said the 11-day dry run would al­low govern­ment to test all sys­tems put in place dur­ing the six-month re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pe­riod.

“We will be mon­i­tor­ing a lot of things, from manag­ing the en­trance, exit and stay of the tourists, to en­forc­ing rule of law on es­tab­lish­ments that have been found to be non-com­pli­ant with laws and reg­u­la­tions,” Ci­matu said.

The “no com­pli­ance, no op­er­a­tion” pol­icy for es­tab­lish­ments will be en­forced not only dur­ing the dry run but be­yond Bo­ra­cay’s for­mal re­open­ing.

“We will not hes­i­tate to close ho­tels and other es­tab­lish­ments that would op­er­ate with­out clear­ance from the BIATF,” Ci­matu said.

He warned tourists who are plan­ning to visit the is­land to make sure they book their ac­com­mo­da­tions with com­pli­ant ho­tels and es­tab­lish­ments.

The DENR will de­ploy at least 30 en­vi­ron­men­tal en­forcers to check on Bo­ra­cay’s wa­ter qual­ity, solid waste man­age­ment, drainage and sewage sys­tems and occupation on for­est ar­eas and wet­lands.

The Armed Forces of the Philip­pines and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice have com­mit­ted to help main­tain peace and order dur­ing the dry run lead­ing to the re­open­ing.

“We are try­ing to cor­rect the mis­takes of the past and we have suc­ceeded in find­ing a so­lu­tion to clean­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. We do not want to back­slide on what we have started,” Ci­matu said.

Life­guards

The Philip­pine Coast Guard (PCG) has trained 200 qual­i­fied life­guards of ho­tels, re­sorts and tour boats to en­sure safety of vis­i­tors who would be en­gag­ing in wa­ter-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties on the is­land.

PCG Western Visayas District com­man­der Capt. Al­lan dela Vega said they have been con­duct­ing life-sav­ing train­ings since June, when Bo­ra­cay was closed to tourists.

Among the par­tic­i­pants were ho­tel and re­sort life­guard per­son­nel, tour guides, boat crew mem­bers and em­ploy­ees of disas­ter risk re­duc­tion and man­age­ment of­fices.

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