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Boracay tourists may be required to wear access bracelets

/ 05:05 AM September 27, 2018

ILOILO CITY — Tourists going to Boracay after its reopening may be required to wear access bracelets as a means to regulate the number of visitors to the island and as a security measure, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Visitors may also be required to register in a tourist database if the proposed measure is approved before the island reopens on Oct. 26.

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Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the proposal also sought to require tourists to state the duration of their stay.

The access bracelet may also be loaded with a cash value and serve as an alternative payment scheme.

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“It is still on the drawing board and will still be finalized,” Antiporda told the Inquirer.

But several residents and business operators said the wearing or bearing of identification or access passes would be an imposition on tourists who only want a leisurely stay on the world-famous island.

‘Intruders, not guests’

“Can you imagine [visitors] wearing wristbands identifying themselves as tourists?” said a resident who declined to be named so as not to antagonize officials implementing the rehabilitation of the island.

“Visitors would feel like intruders rather than guests. This is also not feasible to implement and somebody could make money [from] this [access card],” another resident said.

The residents are particularly wary of the proposed access card system for them.

“This is too much. Many residents here are struggling to meet their daily needs because of the loss of livelihood. Now, they want us to get and pay for another identification or access card?” a resident of Barangay Manoc-Manoc said.

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The resident said they already had barangay identification cards, which is a requirement for entering the island.

“How many times do we have to prove that we are residents here?” the resident said.

President Duterte ordered Boracay’s closure to tourists on Apr. 26 so the island could undergo a six-month rehabilitation.

The Department of Tourism said only a “soft opening” would be implemented on Oct. 26, as rehabilitation activities would continue.

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TAGS: Benny Antiporda, Boracay access bracelets, Boracay cleanup, Boracay closure, Boracay tourists, DENR
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