By Martin Sadongong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is “well-prepared” for the reopening of Boracay island on Friday, October 26 even as some concerns from the public remain pertaining to strict implementation of local laws to maintain its cleanliness.
Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, regional director of Western Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO-6), said they will conduct a capability demonstration on Thursday, October 25, a day ahead of the scheduled reopening, to test the readiness of the police force.
“All systems go. In fact, on October 25, we are conducting [a] capability demonstration wherein the chief PNP [Director General Oscar Albayalde] will grace the occasion,” he said.
“We are well-prepared insofar as equipage, the number of personnel needed, the facilities especially the buildings dahil mayroon kaming mga [police] sub-stations na kino-construct sa lugar (because we are constructing [police] sub-stations in the area),” the police official said.
Bulalacao also assured that they are committed to strictly implement municipal ordinances related to proper waste disposal.
Photos of garbage and plastic cups allegedly dumped in the island’s white sand on the soft-reopening of the famed tourist spot on October 16 went viral in social media.
“Noong first day ng soft opening noong October 16, maraming nadisappoint sa naging conduct ng guests natin dahil sila mismo ay nagtapon ng mga basura at hindi inilagay sa proper places. (During the first day of the soft opening on October 16, a lot of people were disappointed on the conduct of some of our guests because they did not properly disposed their garbages),” Bulalacao admitted.
But he assured that guests and locals who will be caught violating Anti-littering Ordinance Number 311, Serie of 2012 of Malay municipality will be dealt with accordingly.
“Lahat ng (All of the) municipal ordinances, especially those with punitive provisions, ay ipinatutupad ng PNP (are being implemented by the PNP),” he assured.
Violators may be imprisoned from 10 days to six months and fined P1,000 to P2,500 depending on the gravity of the offense and the number of times the violations are committed by an individual.
On April 26, 2018, the government closed Boracay island to tourists to make way for its rehabilitation upon the order of President Duterte who said in February that the world-famous tourist spot has become a “cesspool,” revealing that wastes of several establishments were discovered being dumped into the sea.