UPDATE: As of 26 April, this is what Boracay looks like on the first day of closure.
The following are also guidelines to keep in mind as Boracay’s rehabilitation is ongoing:
- Boracay is off limits to all tourists.
- Residents and workers will have to present a government ID if they want to enter the island. Non-government IDs with barangay certification of residency will also be accepted.
- Only residents are allowed to swim at a designated location in Station 1 from 6am-5pm. No other area is open for swimming, and to no other people.
- Visitors aren’t allowed to enter the island except for emergency situations.
- Media must coordinate with DOT for their news coverage.
- Floating structures are not allowed up to three km of the shoreline.
- Foreign residents must be revalidated by the Bureau of Immigration.
- Caticlan and Cagban Jetty Port are the only entry and exit points.
Starting 26 April 2018, Boracay will undergo a cleanup and closure for six months. Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, made the announcement on Wednesday, 4 Apr, and confirmed that the iconic tourist destination will be closed to tourism. This initiative was triggered by President Duterte’s visit to Boracay last year when he called it a “cesspool” after seeing its environmental state.
The businesspeople and locals of Boracay have expressed concern that the shutdown will disrupt their livelihood and source of income for the months to come. According to Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Calamity Funds would be allocated to compensate stakeholders and employees affected by the rehabilitation. No specific amount was stated.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will also lessen their flights between Manila and the Boracay towns of Kalibo and Caticlan from 20 Apr to 27 Oct 2018. They will suspend Boracay flights between Cebu and Clark from 26 Apr to 27 Oct 2018. But PAL will continue to operate nine weekly flights between Manila and Kalibo, and seven weekly flights between Manila and Caticlan.
On the other hand, Cebu Pacific (CebuPac) has cancelled the following flights from 26 Apr to 25 Oct 2018:
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila 5J 891/892 Daily
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila 5J 895/896
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila 5J 899/900
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila 5J 901/902
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila 5J 905/906
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila DG 6241/6242
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila DG 6243/6244
- Manila-Caticlan-Manila DG 6247/6248
- Cebu-Caticlan-Cebu 5J 132/133 Daily
- Caticlan-Clark-Caticlan DG 6298/6299 Daily
- Manila-Kalibo-Manila 5J 331/332 Daily
- Manila-Kalibo-Manila DG 6317/6318
- Manila-Kalibo 5J 339 Sun-Thu
- Kalibo-Cebu 5J 413 Daily
- Kalibo-Cebu 5J 415 Sun/Fri
- Cebu-Kalibo-Cebu 5J 416/417 Sun
- Clark-Kalibo 5J 351 Tue/Thu/Sat
- Kalibo-Clark 5J 352 Mon/Wed/Fri
- Kalibo-Incheon-Kalibo 5J 180/181 Daily
You may also catch these CebuPac flights from 26 Apr to 25 Oct:
- Manila-Kalibo 5J 337 Daily (except 1-4 May 2018)
- Kalibo-Manila 5J 338 Daily (except 1-4 May 2018)
- Manila-Caticlan DG 6245 Daily
- Caticlan-Manila DG 6246 Daily
- Cebu-Caticlan DG 6272 Daily
- Caticlan-Cebu DG 6273 Daily
If your CebuPac booking was cancelled, you also have the following options:
- Get a full refund
- Place the full value of the ticket in a travel fund
- Rebook the flight subject to seat availability
- Reroute to any domestic destination subject to seat availability
We really hope that this six-month shutdown will be fruitful and worth it in the end. In the meantime, we have no other choice but to cooperate with the government and fly to other beach destinations. Don’t worry, there are plenty in the Philippines!