ILOILO CITY – To sustain the socio-economy of the country’s most famous beach destination amid the threat of COVID-19, a major business group is asking the national government for a separate community quarantine status for Boracay Island.
“We appeal for a less restrictive quarantine status for Boracay Island as the situation is different than in Aklan,” urged the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Boracay Chapter.
Boracay Island is part of Malay, one of the towns of Aklan.
Led by its president Wesley Van Der Voort, PCCI-Boracay is urging the national government to reconsider the socio-economic impact of the ban on leisure travel if Aklan is placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status or higher status if COVID-19 cases continue to goes up.
“It is important that Boracay continues to be open for tourism, and balancing the critical public health concerns with the critical economic concerns for the employment, welfare, and opportunity of all stakeholders, investors, workers, and tourists,” said PCCI-Boracay in a letter sent to Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
“The situation in Aklan is very concerning, but we also would like to see the success of Malay in responding to COVID-19 recognized,” Van Der Voort said.
PCCI-Boracay is suggesting that the national government must look at COVID-19 data specifically for Boracay Island and not use the COVID-19 statistics for the entire Aklan or Malay.
As of July 21, DOH Region 6 (Western Visayas) recorded 2,133 active COVID-19 cases in Aklan.
Latest COVID-19 data in Malay has more or less 70 active cases. Mayor Frolibar Bautista had earlier said that COVID-19 cases in Malay, including Boracay, are very manageable.
“The key point is that as Boracay is increasingly vaccinated, and all entry to the island is subject to testing, Boracay Island will have very low COVID19 cases,”
added Van Der Voort.