Government shuts down 10 establishments in Boracay

NO MAYOR'S PERMIT. The Boracay Interagency Task Force shuts down 10 establishments, including this Korean restaurant, in Boracay on Tuesday, May 21. Photo from DENR

NO MAYOR'S PERMIT. The Boracay Interagency Task Force shuts down 10 establishments, including this Korean restaurant, in Boracay on Tuesday, May 21.

Photo from DENR

MANILA, Philippines – The Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF), through the local government of Malay, has shut down 10 establishments in the island for operating without mayor's permits.

In a statement on Wednesday, May 22, Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Group General Manager Natividad Bernardino said the task force recently conducted an inspection of some Boracay establishments after they received reports of Chinese restaurants bearing no English translations in their menus and signages.

These restaurants reportedly only cater to Chinese nationals.

The BIATF formed an ad hoc committee last April 25 to look into foreign businesses violating regulations in Boracay, as well as aliens staying in the island without valid work permits and visa. (READ: Boracay task force to be 'merciless' vs erring establishments)

From May 7 to 9, a committee led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government inspected 49 businesses with foreign signages in their establishments. From the inspection, 10 businesses were found to be operating without mayor's permits:

Another 14 businesses had incomplete requirements from the local government unit and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III has given the list of erring businesses to Malay Mayor Abram Sualog for the issuance of closure orders. Only the local government can close down the establishments. 

"We cannot allow flagrant violation by foreign nationals of our country's laws and regulations, especially in the island which we have painstakingly rehabilitated," Densing said. 

The government also noted a spike in Chinese and Korean businesses in the tourist destination. Bernardo noted that they have noticed foreign nationals working as tour guides, restaurant chefs, and staff in the island.

According to the environment department, Chinese nationals make up the bulk of foreign tourists who arrived in Boracay in the first quarter of 2019 at 56%, followed by Korean nationals at 37%. (READ: Boracay: Paradise Reborn?)

BIATF chairperson and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu reminded establishments and residents to adhere to regulations as the national government continues its crackdown on erring businesses in the island.

"I once said that Boracay will never be a 'cesspool' again, but we need all the support and cooperation of everybody to sustain the gains we have made from the massive rehabilitation we have done to the island," he added. – Rappler.com