Visiting Boracay – Don’t Try To Fake It!
Domestic Tourists have been visiting Boracay since October 2020. Most have been responsible tourists. They have followed the regulations to enter the island and enjoyed the near empty White Beach. But 100+ people have taken a chance and tried to enter Boracay with faked RT-PCR tests.
Those 100+ have faced Court Hearings. The charges have been brought against them by the DILG & DOT. The outcome, if found guilty, is imprisonment and big fines.
“This is how serious the DOT is in the enforcement of existing health and safety rules.” – Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat 15th February 2021.
What are the consequences of visiting Boracay using a fake RT-PCR Test?
A violation of RA 11332 carries penalties of:-
- P20,000 to P50,000 fine per person
- Imprisonment of one to six months
- or both, at the discretion of the court.
And BE WARNED:
Wes Gatchalian, House Deputy Speaker, filed House Bill No. 8643 on 8th February 2021. The Bill will amend RA 11332 and set the fine to P1-million AND imprisonment for anyone who falsifies any kind of COVID-19 test result. This will apply to those who create the fake results AND those who use a Fake RT-PCR.
How can I know for sure that my RT-PCR is not fake?
See below for the link to the list of DOH-accredited laboratories.
The Municipality of Malay is also in the process of passing a resolution. It will allow them to declare anyone submitting fake RT-PCR Tests as persona non-grata. This will apply to anyone, past or future, who is caught on Boracay or trying to come to Boracay using fake RT-PCR’s.
A possible Ordinance allowing for a 3-year ban on visiting Boracay is being discussed by the Town Council’s Tourism Committee.
Six tourists, visiting Boracay from Metro Manila, in January 2021 were detained and then removed from the island. They were tested for COVID-19 on the 21st January. 3 of these tourists tested positive.
Thankfully, most of the tourists caught with fake tests have been stopped at the airport in Manila. Some have been detained once they landed at Caticlan Airport. But some of these reckless tourists have been able to enter Boracay for up to 36 hours, before being rounded up by the Police and removed to a quarantine center.
Boracay’s Tourism Office have since amended the way they release the required Health Declaration and QPR codes to tourists visiting Boracay.
Residents and Business Owners are pleased that steps are being taken to protect the island from selfish tourists visiting Boracay.
“We went in to a hard lockdown in March 2020, like the rest of the country. Despite having no cases on the island. We followed the rules and stayed at home for months. We couldn’t even walk on or enjoying beautiful White Beach, which is right on our doorstep!
Our children and elders were not allowed out. Even after tourists were allowed to start visiting Boracay. We do not have access to medical facilities to look after any of our residents on the island, if they needed a ventilator or face an emergency. And this is the second extended closure of the island in 2 years. Everyone here is struggling to survive.
Now we are facing very selfish people. People who don’t want to follow the rules for visiting Boracay. The rules are there for good reason; to protect Boracay and its residents so you can visit here safely. Some of those people falsifying documents, just so they can holiday on Boracay, could be the cause of someone here dying!”
What are the requirements for visiting Boracay
Tourists intending to spend at least one night on Boracay should follow these requirements:-
- First Check that you are getting your RT-PCR Test at a DOH recognized and accredited center. You can check the accredited centers here: https://hfsrb.doh.gov.ph/?page_id=1729
- Next check your chosen Boracay Accommodation is cleared for tourists. You can check here: https://www.facebook.com/DOTR6WesternVisayas
- Next Visit https://aklan.gov.ph and click Online Health Declaration, choosing Boracay in the ‘Where To page’
- Complete the sections and click Submit. A Confirmation page with instructions will appear. Either Save As to your smart phone or print out.
- Email a copy of your Health Declaration, ID or Proof of Identification, a copy of your GENUINE RT-PCR Negative Result, and a copy of your Hotel Confirmed Booking, to email@example.com . The Email Subject Heading should be OHDC-(your family name)-(your first name).
- If you are traveling with other people you can submit all your documents in one email. Just remember to include all the names of everyone in your group, in the email and all their papers.
- Wait for the email response (successful or unsuccessful) with a Final Validation. Wait time is usually 24 hours or less (depending on time submitted).
- Successful Validation: You will receive a copy of your Health Declaration with a Tourist QR Code. You should present these to the Border Authorities, on arrival, for scanning,
- Unsuccessful Validation: You may need to resubmit your documents or clarify any queries raised in the reply email.
Please think of other people, beside yourself, when visiting Boracay.
Someone’s death from COVID is not worth the price of your Instagram photos!