After months of convincing Filipinos to “stay at home”, Malacañang is now urging everyone to “live” and fly to Boracay island for vacation while the coronavirus pandemic is still peaking.
“Ang mensahe po ng Presidente, kinakailangang mabuhay po tayo sa kabila ng COVID-19… Panahon na po para tayo ay magbakasyon matapos ng napakatagal na lockdown, lalong-lalo na sa Metro Manila,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his press briefing that happened on the white sand shores of Boracay island.
[The President’s message is that we need to live with COVID-19… It’s time to take a vacation after the long lockdown, especially in Metro Manila.]
Last October 1, Boracay welcomed tourists back again, subject to strict guidelines including negative swab tests. This comes weeks after the island started accepting visitors from within the Western Visayas region only.
Roque and his team headed to Malay, Aklan over the weekend.
“Ang talagang messaging po natin ngayon doon sa advertisement na pinroduce ng Office of the Press Secretary at suportado po ng IATF, DOH, at Department of Finance: ingat-buhay para sa hanapbuhay… ‘Yan din po ang thrust ng second National Action Plan ng national task force on COVID-19,” Roque said.
[Our real messaging now as seen in the advertisement produced by the Office of the Press Secretary and supported by the IATF, DOH, and Department of Finance: taking care of yourself while supporting other people’s livelihoods… That’s also the thrust of the second National Action Plan of the national task force on COVID-19.]
Only about 50 tourists per day have entered the province, a huge difference from thousands of people who flocked to the island before the health crisis, according to Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores.
Tourists need a negative polymerase chain reaction test result taken within 48 hours of traveling to Boracay to be allowed entry.