Boracay Island: New Rules & Reminders

Boracay
Me at Boracay back in 2016

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you should have heard at some point that Boracay Island was closed off to tourists for reasons that the government wanted to rehabilitate, rebuild, and clean the island up. Although this caused much controversy and debate especially to the local businesses and natives of Boracay, the plan went ahead and last April 26 tourists were no longer allowed to enter the island.

Fast forward 6 months later and on October 26, Boracay will now once again reopen its doors to the general public. From the numerous images posted by media outlets and certain individuals who were at the island during and after the cleanup, it seems a lot did change for the better. The beaches were free of rubbish, new drainage and sewage pipes were installed, and some of the broken roads were fixed.

This was not a ‘win-win’ for everyone though. Over the course of Boracay’s temporary closure, hundreds of establishments, restaurants, and resorts were forced to close and some are never allowed to operate again. There are also some common practices on the island before which are now strictly prohibited. Below are some of the new rules and reminders on Boracay Island.

New Boracay Rules & Reminders

1. Only 19,000 tourists may stay on the island

Since there will only be one entry/exit point to Boracay, it will be easier to monitor the flow of tourists that come and go. Seems plausible although I feel that this could be a problem for those that book their accommodations online especially during the holidays. Imagine booking a 3-day stay at a hotel or resort, only to be barred at the ferry terminal because the island was already ‘full’. Currently, it’s close to impossible to monitor online reservations because each hotel/resort has their own system. So I hope the officials in charge can find a way around this.

2. No smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages along White Beach

White Beach is the long stretch of beach from Station 3 all the way to Station 1. This is also the busiest beach on the island as most resorts and businesses are situated along or near White Beach Path.

3. ‘Laboracay’ will now be banned

Laboracay, also known as the Labor Day Party, is an annual event on the island. I haven’t personally experienced Laboracay so it doesn’t really affect me that much but I’m sorry for those who have, especially those who make it a habit to attend.

4. Diving around Boracay is temporarily banned

5. All water activities are temporarily suspended

Chill those jet skis for now.

6. Dining by the beach is prohibited

And it rightfully should be. Although some may find it romantic, I always found eating beside the beach quite…chaotic. With all the wind and sand, I prefer dining inside a nice restaurant.

6. Fireworks displays are only allowed until 9 p.m.

7. No installation of electronic lights by the beachfront

8. Sand castle-making will be regulated

So much for my plans to build a 12-foot fort!

9. Souvenir shops and gawkers along the beachfront are banned

10. Fire dancing that uses kerosene lamps are prohibited

11. Casinos are banned on the island

If true then this debunks previous reports of possible casinos to be built on Boracay.

12. Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is the sole regulator of Boracay’s water lines

13. Piggeries and poultry farms are banned on the island

References

The information here was gathered from the websites listed below:

Elmer Balbin

Web developer from Bacolod, Google Local Guide, and casual DotA 2 player.

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