THE PHILIPPINE Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) is not too thrilled about the reopening of Boracay Island on Oct. 26 with only 30% of establishments allowed to resume operations.
PTAA President Jose C. Clemente III said the new rules and requirements imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Tourism (DoT) makes it practically impossible for many businesses to comply in time for the target date for allowing tourists in again.
When we mean open, we are pushing for 100% opening but apparently, the DoT and the [Boracay] Interagency [Task Force] is looking for 30% of the establishments based on the compliance of the establishments to the rules,» Mr. Clemente told BusinessWorld
Mr. Clemente said they will be sending letters to the DENR and the interagency task force to act on the issues that hinder businesses from opening by Oct. 26.
One of these is the requirement for establishments to set up their own sewage treatment plants for wastewater, which he said is costly.
“For the smaller properties, it might be burdensome for them to do so. For the bigger ones, it’s fine. There’s a law anyway that you can connect to a service company if you can’t afford to build one yourself,” he said.
Business owners have also noted that there have been delays in the issuance of documents by the DENR, particularly certifications on whether certain lands are alienable and disposable.
Mr. Clemente also said that DENR even ran out of official receipts to issue to business owners who were ready to pay the fees. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato