Tourists in Boracay viral ‘pooping’ incident may face charges – Palace

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Environment officials closed off a beachfront area in Boracay resort after a video of a woman burying dirty diapers in the sand went viral on social media. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — The tourists involved in the viral pooping incident in Boracay may face charges for violating environmental laws, Malacañang said Thursday.

“There are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected, whether foreigners and FIlipinos, they have to follow rules. That is a violation and they are subject to [court] suits,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in his regular media briefing.

"If there is an ordinance prohibiting such actions then they will be sanctioned by local authorities," he added.

The spokesman likewise urged local government units to strictly impose their respective anti-littering ordinance.

"We understand that most local government units have an anti-littering ordinance. We therefore ask the heads of these LGUs to strictly implement the same and apprehend violators accordingly," he said in a statement later in the day.

A clip of tourists burying a soiled diaper in the beach prompted authorities to close a portion of Boracay’s Station 1 on Thursday for water quality tests. The Boracay Interagency Task Force later in the day made the part accessible to the public again, as water quality level remained safe.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said she was dismayed by the incident. She said they will work on aggressively informing tourists about beach rules and regulations, while urging the local government to raise the penalty for littering. Malay town, which has jurisdiction over Boracay, has a littering fine of P100 for the first offense.

“This is an unfortunate incident pero [but] we will not tolerate those who violate the law whether foreigner or local. Dapat lahat sumunod sa batas [Everyone should follow the law],” Puyat told CNN Philippines’ Balitaan.

Puyat also encouraged the public to immediately report violations to authorities.

Ang sinasabi lang namin sana ‘pag nakita na nila agad na nangyari, sabihan na agad ang proper authorities para mahuli agad,” Puyat said.

[Translation: What we are saying is hopefully people will report these incidents to the proper authorities immediately so we can catch them at once.]

In April 2018, the world-famous Boracay island underwent a six-month closure and rehabilitation after President Rodrigo Duterte called the tourist destination a “cesspool.” The island was reopened to visitors in October.

Authorities, meanwhile, have yet to identify the tourists in the viral clip.