Philippine island once called 'cesspool' reopens to visitors

October 25, 2018 - 11:36 pm

BORACAY, Philippines (AP) — Boatloads of tourists have sailed to tiny Boracay island on the first day Philippine officials reopened the resort to visitors after a six-month closure to clean waters the president had called a "cesspool" due to overcrowding, partying and neglect.

Officials at the island in central Aklan province have imposed new rules to regulate the influx of visitors and beach parties, decongest resorts and prevent sewage from being discharged directly into the turquoise waters. Only a portion of hotels and other businesses have reopened under the new rules, and a small portion of workers were rehired before Friday's reopening.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat pleaded: "Let us treat the island as our home. Keep it clean and pristine."

President Rodrigo Duterte in February had ordered Boracay shut for rehabilitation starting April 26.

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