Re: Gradual opening of Boracay Island
May 28, 2020
Participated by Atty. Helen Catalbas, Governor Miraflore, Mayor Bautitsta and different invited associations in Boracay Island. BOT President Edwin Raymundo and BOT VP External Cedric Sazon joined the meeting to represent BFI Talking Points Opening Message from Governor Miraflores.
The opening of Boracay will follow the sequence of opening of Boracay after the Boracay closure June 1, 2020 will be the dry which only Aklanons can visit the Island (day tour). Guidelines on health and sanitation should be in placed before opening the island especially on different entry points (Caticlan, Tabon and Cagban ports).
Guidelines for tourism establishments like hotels should also be implemented. Detailed guidelines on opening the island for the tourist hotels and restaurants should comply with the guidelines of DOT in order to operate.
We cannot open Boracay for tourists from Metro Manila, Atty. Helen Catalbas said, we should start with local tourists as planned before the lockdown and health protocols should be followed.
More than the tourism aspect, health concern should be prioritized. Inventory of human and physical resources on the island before the opening of Boracay. Even local tourists should have certain certification before entering the Island. 30% of occupancy is only allowed on the opening of the Island. Heath protocols should be in place on the transportation going to Boracay and in the Island (passenger vans, motorbancas, tricycles and etrykes).
It will be a long list of requirements before a hotel can operate, the question is who will determine if the establishment is compliant and ready to accept guests? Certain accreditation to operate will be issued to establishments.
· Necessary requirements/ permits are needed in order the hotels and restaurants can operate (mayors permit and DOT accreditation which can be applied through online)
· There will be a team on health side (team from LGU Malay and Province) who will monitor during the preparation for the opening of Boracay
· Aside from the guidelines stated in Memorandum Circular 20 of 2020 there will be a checklist of requirements in preparation for the opening of the Island
· As of now there is no physical assessment done so the DOT only relies on the integrity of the establishment to do self-assessment and physical inspection will follow after the opening
· The DOT Region VI will be the one to check the compliance of the establishments with the help of LGU Malay in any case they violate any guidelines the DOT will cancel the certificate to operate.
· During the time of no covid 19 it is the Municipal office who monitor the compliance but this time the IATF will take over and the requirement is very simple only the Mayor’s permit.
· For the renewal of DOT accreditation the establishment will just file the application · What the DOT is issuing now is the certificate to operate. They will be requiring some health protocols to follow before the will issue the certificate.
· The DOT will send the checklist of requirements for the establishment to do the self-assessment if they are compliant with the health protocols.
· We have to project that we are following the guidelines mandated by the National Government to make the tourists feel that they are safe to visit the Island.
· Protection should be necessary not only for the tourists but also for the employees according to Mayor Bautista.
· There will be a certain office from DOT to issue certificate of Authority to operate for the establishments
· Before we open the Island it should be all inspected and ready during the dry run as for Mayor Bautista
· There will be guideline that need to be implemented also during this rainy season especially the social distancing
· BFI President Edwin Raymundo suggested to Dot to create a video presentation showing the health guidelines for the tourists and also the establishment can have some presentation for advance information before they enter the establishment.
· BOT Cedric Sazon was tasked to do the video presentation for the tourists and the DOT is willing to share with the cost.
· For instance that the tourist is having a mild cough or common colds they can let the guest stay in their hotel and have it monitored to ease the burden on the LGU side.
· Establishment can provide extra rooms for unexpected situations
· For those who will enter the Island that are asymptomatic and suddenly showed symptoms of COVID while during their stay on the Island, there will be designated vehicles for transfer from establishment going to provincial hospital but this will be discreet so that it won’t cause panic to the community.
· There will be a holding room for the symptomatic which will be provided by the establishment until such time the medical intervention will come in
· Another factor that need to be considered is that if the Island has medical support for emergency cases for COVID-19
· Holding area in establishment for symptomatic patients will be included in the checklist of requirements that need to be complied.
· According to Mr. Sacdalan this is also an economic issue and we can’t just wait for August to reopen, the sooner we open Boracay the better.
· Mayor Bautista will check all the entry and exit points of Boracay on Monday.
· THE OPENING OF BORACAY FOR WESTERN VISAYAS TOURISTS IS TENTATIVELY ON JUNE 12, 2020
· BFI President Edwin Raymundo requested if they can include BFI in their meetings because there are a lot of BFI Members who can contribute good ideas for the Island. Is there any additional protocols to be implemented in jetty ports or airports that need to be complied by the establishments?
· DOT will conduct a series of seminars regarding on health and sanitation to prepare private sectors personnel
· DOT will conduct orientation for accommodation establishments
· Governor Miraflores said that we need a little more time for the Island to be prepared to accept tourists
· Island will start accepting guests from Aklan but only for day tour starting June 1, 2020 (dry run) · Monitor the health workers on a daily basis
NEXT MEETING WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY (JUNE 3, 2020) VIA ZOOM FOR UPDATES ON THE CREATION OF GUIDELINES TO BE IMPLEMENTED ON THE OPENING OF THE ISLAND