Back in April, 2018, President Duterte announced that Boracay Island would be closed to tourism for up to 6 months. The purpose of closing Boracay to tourism was to rehabilitate from the mass amounts of pollution caused by over tourism and lack of beach protection policies. This was after the island had attracted over 2 million visitors the previous year. There was definitely some serious concern about the impact on environmental health of the island and it needed to be addressed.
We had read about it quite a bit prior to arriving at Boracay. We had heard from our uncle that the island pretty much now bans a lot of activity on White Beach and that it’s under very strict law now. We didn’t really know what to expect but we’re glad the locals and tourists are taking pollution more seriously on the island. We found these signs with all the rules scattered along the beach line and honestly, we think they’re pretty fair. Basically they banned all activities, drinking, eating and entertainment from taking place on the beach.
Since this was our first time at Boracay, we didn’t see its state from before the cleanup but we’ve read in several Philippines Facebook Travel groups and blog posts like this, that things were getting pretty bad there. And the worst of it was that properties were dumping waste straight into the ocean. During our visit the beaches were extremely clean. We did some trash cleanup on our own but ultimately we thought the beach looked great overall and it looked like everyone was taking the new beach policies seriously.
Boracay Island appears to be back on track and the environment looks to be thriving yet again. A couple of the tour guides had said that sea life has come back to the island and the coral is doing a lot better. We got to see quite a bit during our day snorkeling and we had so much fun! Boracay Island hasn’t closed since but they’ll continue to monitor the health of the island and will keep assessing in the future.