Charter flights, stricter Boracay air travel rules hailed

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

July 17, 2019, 2:17 pm

<p>Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat</p>

Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat

MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday welcomed the move of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to lift its moratorium on flights to Boracay and its issuance of new and stricter guidelines on the conduct of commercial air transportation serving the resort island.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said this development could further spur the island's tourism.

“We share our stakeholders’ goal of ensuring a thriving and vibrant tourism industry in Boracay and the lifting of the moratorium on all new and additional charter flights to Kalibo and Caticlan will facilitate this," she said in a statement.

"And with these guidelines in place, we are assured that its carrying capacity is strictly enforced by the authorities,” she added.

The CAB plans to spread out the arrivals of the chartered flights and strictly enforce a 30-day application notice prior to the actual date of charter operations.

The board also decided to bar the entry of aircraft exceeding the 200-seat capacity.

With the move of opening the island to more tourists once again, Romulo-Puyat urged visitors to be circumspect and considerate about the environment.

“We have seen what overtourism has done to the island, and that is something that we cannot afford to happen again. We can’t stress enough how fun it is in Boracay, but we can make it more fun if we are able to preserve it to be enjoyed for generations to come,” she said.

As the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force (BIATF) continues to enforce a “No Compliance, No Permit” policy in the island, the DOT said it "remains steadfast in monitoring violations in the island."

“As the Philippines takes a leadership role towards sustainability, it is imperative that all government agencies work hand in hand to sustain the gains that we have made. The rehabilitation of the island has been remarkable, and it is a collective effort of everyone involved -- private stakeholders, residents and line agencies alike," Romulo-Puyat said.

Based on the July 11 bulletin of the BIATF, a total of 365 accommodation establishments have been given DOT accreditation providing a total of 13,142 rooms. (PNA)