Gov’t entices W. Visayas residents to visit Boracay Island

Published July 17, 2020, 11:37 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has encouraged Western Visayas residents to visit Boracay Island after authorities recorded a drop in tourism arrival amid the pandemic.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said tourism operations are allowed to resume at half capacity in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) like Boracay but subject to health measures to prevent any spread of the coronavirus disease.

The Boracay rehabilitation task force has approved Aklan local government’s recommendation to reopen Boracay last June 16 but only for residents from the Western Visayas region in a bid to boost the local economy.

“So, pagdating po sa turismo, ang MGCQ po ay puwede na silang 50 percent capacity sa turismo bagamat kanina po eh pinadalhan ako ng aking mga kaibigan sa Boracay na nagpapakita na bagamat bukas na po ang Boracay sa turismo, napaka-kaunti pa rin po ng mga nagpupunta sa Boracay (On tourism, those in MGCQ are allowed to operate at 50 percent tourism capacity. I received information from my friends in Boracay that showed only a few people are going to Boracay despite its reopening for tourism),” he said during a televised briefing Thursday.

According to Roque, travel for tourism purposes is permitted between places under modified general community quarantine.

Under the government’ guidelines on MGCQ, the movement of persons for any purpose across areas placed under MGCQ and areas where no community quarantine is in place shall be permitted.

Among the businesses and activities allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity in MGCQ areas are beaches, water parks and other tourist destinations, travel agencies, tour operators, karaoke bars, libraries, cultural centers, museums, gyms/fitness studios and sports facilities. For hotels and other accommodation establishments, only those accredited by the Department of Tourism and Department of Interior and Local Government may operate.

The country is largely under MGCQ, the least stringent lockdown level imposed by the government, until the end of the month.

Cebu City has been downgraded to modified enhanced community quarantine while Metro Manila kept its general community quarantine status. Other areas under GCQ are Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Talisay City, and municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province.