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Philippines Tourism

Philippines deploys riot police to stop resort access

The country will shut down Boracay, its most popular resort island, for six months on April 26.

When the Philippines shuts down its most popular resort area for six months on April 26, it will deploy riot police to keep tourists out.

The riot police’s mission will be to keep travellers away from Boracay and stop potential protests, the government said this week, according to a report by news agency AFP.

More than 600 police will be used in the lockdown plan, including 138 in a “crowd dispersal unit”.

The once idyllic beach destination will be forcibly closed for six months to fix sewage and environment-related problems, officials say. In February, President Rodrigo Duterte Duterte called Boracay a “cesspool” and personally ordered the shutdown.

ID cards
Entry to the island, about 300 kilometres south of Manila, will be limited to one small sea port, with media access also tightly controlled.

Boracay residents will have to carry new identification cards and will be banned from boating and night swimming, AFP says.

As previously reported, the travel trade is warning that shutting Boracay will heavily impact hundreds of hotels, tour operators, restaurants and other businesses. Almost 20,000 people work directly or indirectly in tourism on the island.

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