Some locals decry security measures in Boracay closure

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — Some locals of Boracay are questioning the strict rules to be implemented by the Philippine National Police during the closure of the island.

Once Boracay shuts down on April 26, only residents, workers, and resort owners shall be allowed entry into the island, but only upon presentation of valid identification cards certifying residence in Boracay.

There will be a single entry and exit point during the island's closure. This will be the Jetty Port in Cagban in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, which is always open.

Municipal executive assistant for Boracay Affairs Rowen Aguirre, however, said the Cagban Jetty Port might be dangerous for small boats during the Habagat season.

"Yung ibang mga workers na mawawalan ng trabaho, they can go back to fishing...Para sa pagkain, so they'll be able to feed their families," he said.

When the island shuts down, the port, which currently serves around 5,000 tourists daily, will operate only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Another rule is that there should be no floating structures up to 15 kilometers from the shoreline.

Aguirre said this would be very disadvantageous to small fishermen who fish about one to three kilometers from the shore.

He added he is also concerned on the rule that allows swimming solely for locals, but only at Angol beach from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Biglang lalim ang tubig doon, nandoon din ang mga protected corals natin. Saka hindi siya masyado accessible. So in case of accident, baka mahirapan tayo pumasok yung responders," Aguirre said.

PNP Region 6 Director Cesar Binag, however, said these concerns were raised during the inter-agency meeting between the government and Boracay stakeholders on Tuesday.

"Diniscuss nga yan sa meeting namin immediately after ng presentation pati sina Secretary. Hintayin niyo baka magbaba ng bagong guidelines. Ang gusto ko lang mensahe dito, nakikinig ang gobyerno sa mga concerns ng mga maaapektuhan," Binag said.

Officials have repeatedly appealed to locals to cooperate in the security and rehabilitation plans for the island to speed up the process.