READY FOR REOPENING: 25 Boracay businesses up for accreditation

BORACAY Island in Malay, Aklan used to be the playground of the Atis, especially their kids. They are now limited to a permanent settlement where they are encouraged to nurture their indigenous culture and traditions while enjoying the island that gets crowded when filled with tourists. The government, in its attempt to make the development in Boracay Island inclusive, ensured that the Atis would not be displaced when the island reopens on Oct 26, 2018. (Ricky D. Alejo)

AN INITIAL list of 25 business establishments in Boracay could already operate when the island reopens on Oct 26, 2018.

In its Boracay Bulletin dated Aug 31, the Department of Tourism (DOT) released a list of 25 hotels and resorts that have complied with the permits and clearances from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Accounting for 2,063 rooms, these establishments are now eligible for DOT accreditation.

The DOT accreditation is the last step before these establishments are allowed to operate when the island resort reopens under the “No Compliance, No Opening” policy of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force.

In a previous interview, DOT-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas said they will come up with a weekly advisory of compliant establishments to help local and foreign tourists avoid bookings with non-compliant businesses.

“We are not prohibiting bookings in hotels and resorts provided these are compliant. They cannot just have on-the-spot bookings because others are still closed when they arrive in the island,” Catalbas said.

Catalbas said they aim to accredit 3,500 businesses in the island although they expect tentatively 5,000 accredited rooms on the opening day and 7,500 or 50 percent of the actual room capacity of the island by end of 2018.

“The accreditation will be ongoing. Most of them will be compliant in the long run,” Catalbas said.

The Environmental Management Bureau, an attached agency of the DENR has resumed the issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and other permits in August.

DOT has also accepted applications for accreditations last month.

During a core meeting with Boracay stakeholders on July 25, DOT-6 presented the final requirements for compliance.

Local government unit requirements include the following:

  • mayor’s permit
  • barangay clearance
  • Pag ibig (clearance certificate)
  • Social Security System (certificate of SSS coverage and compliance)
  • Philhealth (certificate of good payment standing)
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue annual registration
  • garbage fee
  • sanitary permit
  • real property tax clearance (if applicable)
  • occupancy permit
  • building permit
  • Public Employment Service Office (PESO) certification
  • sewerage treatment plant/sewer line connections for those with 50 rooms and above
  • desludging certificate
  • certifications form the Security Exchange Commission, Cooperative Development Authority, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

For environmental compliance, businesses have to secure ECC, certificate of non-coverage (CNC), discharge permit, and permit to operate.

Establishments also need to have the fire safety evaluation clearance, fire safety inspection certificate, and BFP occupancy permit.

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