Authorities plan to deploy at least 600 riot police to the island of Boracay in the coming days to prevent the arrival of tourists ahead of the island’s April 26 closure to non-residents while infrastructural improvement projects are underway. Among the security forces will be a 138-member crowd dispersal unit to maintain security in the event of violent protests. Prior to the transition, island residents will be provided identification cards that will permit them to remain on the island while the closure remains in effect.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a temporary ban on tourism to the island of Boracay, one of the Philippines' most popular tourist destinations, for a period of six months starting on April 26 to allow for infrastructural improvements. The order was issued after it came to light that many of the establishments on the island do not have proper sewage systems and are emptying their waste directly into the sea.
The 1064-hectare island has a permanent population of 56,000 and attracts some 2 million visitors annually.
Individuals present in the Philippines are advised to reschedule planned travel to Boracay and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.