Boracay to have ‘soft opening’ in October, rehabilitation to continue until December 2019

The Boracay sky. (Photo by Paul Benzi Sebastian Florendo)

Boracay island may be reopening on Oct. 26 (Friday) but that does not mean it’ll be welcoming droves of tourists like it did before, at least not yet.

During the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) budget briefing at the Senate yesterday, Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that it will just be a “soft opening,” as only major roads have been built, GMA News reported.

Boracay has been closed to tourists since April, a controversial shutdown that aimed to rehabilitate the polluted island but left many workers unemployed.

Puyat said that hotels will be open during the soft opening but only ones that have complied with requirements set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the DOT, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

READ: Boracay by the numbers: 6 months, 30,000 jobs, 1 very uncertain future

Next month’s opening is apparently just the beginning. According to the Tourism secretary, it will take until December next year to complete the rehabilitation.

Puyat said that the Oct. 26 opening is just phase 1; phase 2 is set for April while phase 3 will be in December next year.

Rappler reported that in a media interview yesterday, Puyat said that phase 2 is for construction projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and that the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority will be able to build a sewage system by phase 3.

The Tourism Department has also asked airlines to limit the number of flights that go to Boracay.

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