Palace: Pooping incident in Boracay ‘offensive’; tourists may face raps
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang felt offended over the behavior of two foreign tourists, who let her child defecate on the beach of Boracay while the other buried a diaper in the island’s powdery white sand.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the tourists could face charges.
“Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected to – whether foreigner or Filipinos tourists alike, whatever – they have to follow rules and that obviously is a violation so they would be subject to suits,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
He advised tourists in the country to follow rules or face charges.
“So we would advise them, if they are here in the Philippines, they have to follow the rules,” he pointed out.
“[If] there is, for instance, an ordinance prohibiting those kinds of actions, then they will be sanctioned by the local authorities. If there is such an ordinance, they could be sued or fined,” he also said.
The Palace official said Malacañang was dismayed over the incident given that the government has closed the island resort for six months for rehabilitation and clean-up after President Rodrigo Duterte compared Boracay to a “cesspool.”
“It’s a violation,” Panelo said, referring to the two incidents. “Of course we are not happy about that. That is not good because we are supposed to be cleaning it then some people are messing it up, right? That’s not good.”
Asked about the Palace’s take on the twin repulsive incidents, Palace said: “Whether they are Filipinos or tourists it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene.”
He then suggested: “Maybe there should be portable restrooms there. We also need to help the tourists.”
In a belated statement, Panelo called the acts of the foreign tourists in Boracay as “discourtesy.”
He said that “we feel insulted with such discourtesy done in the beautiful island this administration recently rehabilitated with intense and collective efforts employed by various departments and agencies of the government.”
He commended the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “for the swift action in ordering an immediate clean-up” of the area.
He also hailed 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 then asked heads of local government units to “strictly implement” the anti-littering ordinance in their respective jurisdictions and apprehend violators.
“We urge everyone – locals and foreign nationals alike – to help in making and maintaining our surroundings and our communities clean and safe for everyone’s appreciation and pleasure,” he said. /kga
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