By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang was offended by the incident where a Chinese tourist allowed her child to defecate in the waters of Boracay, saying the government is working hard to clean the place but there are people who mess it up.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after a video of the incident went viral on social media the past week. Another incident seen on video was another tourist burying the used diaper of her child in the island’s white sand.
In his Thursday press briefing, Panelo said the Palace is not happy with what happened; even saying that Malacañang was offended by it.
“Siyempre (Of course) we are not happy about that. Hindi rin naman maganda yun. Kasi (It’s not a good sight to see. Because) we’re supposed to be cleaning it up pagkatapos (then) some people are messing it up,” he said.
“Kahit na Filipino yun (Even if that was a Filipino). Whether Filipino yun o tourist, it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene,” he added.
“Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected, whether foreigners or Filipinos alike, tourists, whatever, they have to follow rules and that obviously is a violation. That will be a subject to administrative, rather, suits,” he said.
“If there is, for instance, an ordinance prohibiting those kinds of actions then they will be sanctioned by the local authorities. Eh, kung may ordinance na ganoon, ‘di baka idemanda sila o baka may fine pa (If there is an ordinance against what they did, they could be charged and fined),” he added.
Meanwhile, Panelo commended the departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Tourism (DOT) for their swift action on the matter.
“We also laud the Department of Tourism for taking the right step of coordinating with tour operators and travel agencies on the proper travel etiquette in the Philippines so as to avoid a similar occurrence from taking place again,” he added.
The Palace official then reminded tourists in the Philippines to obey the country’s laws.
“So we would advise them to… if they are here in the Philippines, they have to follow the rules,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Panelo suggested that the management of Boracay should install portable toilets near the beach area to help the tourists when they get the call of nature.
“Maybe we should ask also the Boracay, whoever are responsible for that place, to have available restrooms all over,” he said.
“‘Pag gustong mag-relieve yourself, parang wala ka ring mapuntahan kung nandoon ka sa beach. Kailangan siguro merong mga portable restroom there. Kailangan din, tulungan din natin yung mga turista natin (There should be a portable restroom there so people in the beach have somewhere to go to. We also need to help the tourists),” he added.
Panelo also urged the local government unit in Boracay to strictly implement their anti-littering ordinance and apprehend violators. He also urged also locals and foreign nationals to help maintain the surroundings and communities clean and safe for everyone’s appreciation and pleasure.
Boracay opened late 2018 after it was closed down for six months to undergo rehabilitation.