Police forces in Western Visayas have started conducting a dry-run of security and health safety measures that will be implemented for the reopening of the world famous Boracay Island to local tourists on October 1.
Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, director of the Western Visayas regional police, said the move is to ensure synchronized courses of action between the Local Government Units and their respective police forces on the arrival of tourists from various parts of the country.
Simulation exercises spearheaded by Col. Esmeraldo Osia Jr. of the Aklan Police Provincial Office were conducted with forces from the Malay Police Station and the PRO-6 Red Team.
“I want the PRO-6 Red Team to ensure that the courses of action are executed properly based on the contingency plans submitted by the units involved,” Pamuspusan said.
Other simulation exercises that were conducted were active shooting, bomb threat, and an unruly COVID- 19 patient who escaped from a quarantine facility.
“We assure the public of full security coverage in the island. The local police and support units, which were earlier deployed in all strategic areas, will maintain peace and order and security and ensure that health protocols set by the IATF are being followed by the island-goers,” Pamuspusan said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is a top-level policy-making body for COVID-19 responses.
“We appeal to the public, especially to those who will be coming to Boracay Island, to strictly observe health and safety protocols and guidelines. Let us enjoy the beauty of Boracay without compromising our health and safety,” said Pamuspusan.
The IATF has allowed tourists from other parts of the country that are under the general community quarantine (GCQ) to visit the resort island located in Malay town, Aklan province.
Last June 16, Boracay opened to tourists from Western Visayas region. But residents of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces and the highly urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod did not flock to Boracay due to financial concerns and the quarantine status of their areas.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had earlier said that the reopening of Boracay to tourists from other parts of the country will build momentum for domestic tourism.
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