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Boracay soft opening to happen on Oct. 26 —DOT

Boracay island will reopen for business on October 26, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Wednesday, confirming what Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu announced in July.

Puyat said in an interview on ANC that the reopening date was decided in a meeting with Cimatu and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

She said it would be a soft opening.

Puyat said “maybe, probably only about 3,000 to 5,000 rooms will be open.” Only establishments that are “100 percent compliant” can open on October 26.

“I think more of the DENR, because we do know that a lot of resorts were opened even if they were not compliant,” Puyat said, citing an environmental compliance certificate as important for a resort to open for business. DENR is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Puyat, Cimatu, and Año also discussed the carrying capacity of the island. Cimatu is expected to make an announcement on the matter on Wednesday.

Cimatu has said the number of tourists in Boracay will be limited to its maximum carrying capacity to avoid undoing the government’s rehabilitation efforts.

Other topics discussed during the meeting include the clearing of Bulabog Beach, the three kilometer strip—previously called a “cesspool” by President Rodrigo Duterte— and the P1.1 billion drainage system for its upkeep.

Illegal shanties were also removed from Puka Beach while clearer waters were seen at White Beach. —Rie Takumi/VDS, GMA News