100 meters of Boracay beach cordoned off amid video of tourist burying diapers
ILOILO CITY –– A 100-meter area of the famed four-kilometer long beach of Boracay Island was cordoned off starting Wednesday morning amid a video showing a tourist burying used baby diapers along the beach.
Natividad Bernardino, general manager of the Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Management Group, said the area at Station 1 at the northern end of the island, would be closed off to swimmers for a maximum of 48 hours.
She said the water quality, especially the fecal coliform bacteria level, would be tested as directed by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
“The whole beach is open to swimming except for that small portion and it will be temporary,” Bernardino told the INQUIRER.
A viral video taken on Monday and posted on Facebook by a tourist showed a female tourist burying her daughter’s used diapers in the sand along the beach at Station 1 in Barangay Balabag.
The tourist purportedly from the Chinese mainland was oblivious as she scooped sand to bury the diapers in violation of various municipal ordinances on protecting the environment and the beach.
The video provoked an outcry from netizens who condemned what the tourist did.
Bernardino said they could not confirm the nationality of the tourist but the Philippine National Police is trying to trace and identify her through tour groups and travel agencies.
Boracay was closed off to tourists for six months from April 26 to October 25, 2018, to undergo rehabilitation due to worsening environmental problems.
Cimatu had announced during the re-opening of the island that coliform levels in the waters of the long beach were way below the tolerable levels for swimming.
Bernardino said the Department of Tourism would distribute leaflets translated to Korean and Chinese in planes with tourists bound for Boracay to provide information on prohibited acts while on the island.
Chinese and Korean tourists are the top foreign visitors on the island. /lzb
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