AT LEAST “400 policemen” will be deployed to Boracay “to prevent” local and foreign tourists from entering the island beginning April 26, incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar D. Albayalde announced on Friday.
The deployment is meant “to secure the area, to prevent the tourists from getting on the island,” Mr. Albayalde said in an interview with reporters at the Palace on Friday morning.
The police official said he also expects a possible outbreak of protests there. “We expect [protests], of course. Many will take offense because they will be losing their jobs and thousands of Filipinos are dependent on tourism [businesses there],” Mr. Albayalde added.
Following its closure, petty crimes in Boracay are also expected to increase, according to Mr. Albayalde.
“In every place where many are unemployed, even here in Metro Manila, we expect that petty crimes will sometimes increase,” he explained.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved last week the recommendation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Tourism (DoT) to close the island for six months to give way to its rehabilitation starting April 26. — Arjay L. Balinbin