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After a six month shutdown for rehabilitation, world-renowned resort Boracay island opens its doors to tourist on friday.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat on Friday said the Boracay experience is the ultimate lesson in balancing development and protecting the environment.
Speaking before hundreds of attendees during the re-opening ceremony of the famous island resort at the Cagban Port, Puyat said “the lessons learned here are not for Boracay alone but also for the other island destinations around our beautiful country.”
She urged everyone to be responsible tourists because it is the key to the preservation of this national treasure.
“Together, let us ensure that generations from now, our children’s, children’s children will still say that it’s more fun in the Philippines,” she added.
The reopening of the Boracay Island, she said, is not the culmination of the country’s journey on sustainable tourism but, just the beginning.
As she expressed her gratitude to all Boracay stakeholders for their patience, support, and cooperation during the 6-month rehabilitation, Puyat also thanked accredited establishments, and those working hard to be 100% compliant with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and DOT and for ensuring the highest quality for hospitality and the environment.
She was referring to 157 accommodation establishments who were initially accredited by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) in time for the reopening.
In welcoming back Boracay, highlighted by the unveiling of the roughly 10-meter high icon that symbolizes a new and better resort island, Puyat recalled that during a dry run a week ago, people would tell members of BIATF that the shoreline and beachfront that they were seeing, is the Boracay they fell in love with 30 years ago.
She lauded DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, the chairperson of the BIATF, DILG Secretary Ed Año, Department Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Environment Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and other hardworking BIATF men and women who made possible what seemed impossible.
“Our concerted efforts have proven once again that change is indeed possible with strong political will, as our Dear president Duterte has exhibited, and eagerness to work together for the love of country,” she added. PNA