Saturday, January 12, 2013

“Seminar on Guest Handling” for front liners in Boracay, mandatory

All front liners in Boracay are now obliged to undergo a “Seminar on Guest Handling” before acquiring a working permit.

While it is a mandate of the Department of tourism, particularly the Tourism Act of 2009, that a tourism zone like Boracay must maintain an international standard of facility and service.

For this reason, in order for a local version to take shape and to strictly implement it in Boracay, last November 29, 2012 an ordinance regarding this matter has been approved.

And this makes this seminar even more important for the front liners.

This is also the proper time since January is the month for business permit processes.

Those considered as the island’s front liners are boatmen, Tricycle drivers, vendors, masseuse and or masseurs, and porters as well as those establishments who have a direct service to the tourists.

This ordinance states that those working as front liners who fails to undergo a “Seminar on Guest Handling” will not be provided with a working permit on the island. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


The Sin Tax Law will not have a big impact on tourists in Boracay especially on foreign tourists.
This was the statement of Dionesio “Jony” Salme, the President of the Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) when he was reached for reaction on the issue.
He explained that if the prices of alcoholic beverages and cigarette from the Philippines and other countries are to be compared, the so called “sin” products have relatively much higher prices in other countries.
However, according to Salme, those who will be more affected by the price increase on the “sin” products will be the local consumers.
Salme, nevertheless, believes that in the long run this will be beneficial to the health of cigarette, and alcoholic beverage consumers since their vices will be lessened due to the price increase.
He also expressed personal support to the passing into law of the Sin Tax Bill.
 President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Bill into law in December 2012. With the passage, there will be a yearly increase on “sin” products.
This was despite the opposition from tobacco farmers and wine and spirit distillers.

For a unified answer, Malay Mayor Yap opts for Consultative Meeting

All collaborators and those who are involved in a certain topic will be invited for a meeting to achieve a unified answer.

This is what the Chief Executive of Malay aims to happen whenever the Local Government will be introducing a new project or new implementations.

All Department Heads of LGU-Malay, other organizations, cooperatives and associations, particularly the implementers  will be call upon to attend for a one time discussion and arrive at a uniformed answer from everybody.

In line with this, Mayor John Yap conducted a Consultative Meeting yesterday.

Almost all groups were called to attend, including BLTMPC, BIHA, Mabuhay Host, all LGU- Dept. Heads, Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry /PCCI, Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), Boracay and Malay Police, Coast Guard, Army and Maritime.

This is still a part of the Mayor’s goal to maintain the coordination and or accord in Boracay and the entirety of Malay.

Yesterdays Consultative meeting included an agenda on the Chief Executive’s plan to construct a port at Brgy. Sambiray for boats intended for Island Hopping.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


If one is to apply for Village Clearance in Balabag, one has to get a Village ID.

The implemented ID System is mandatory for regular employees and residents of Balabag Village in Boracay Island.

This was what Emely Jinky Alecante, the Balabag Village Administrator said in an interview on January 4, 2013.

According to Alecante, the application for ID System or ID Card will be strictly implemented when applying for a Village Clearance which is in turn a requirement when applying for a Business Permit.

Alecante said the fee for Village Clearance is fifty pesos (P50).

The fee for the ID is two hundred and fifty pesos (P250) for residents of Balabag, and three hundred pesos (P300) for regular employees or transients, who are employed in Balabag.

The mentioned ID Card has a three (3) year validity.

The Village Administrator also clarified that a Village Clearance is also given to those who are new in the Village provided that a Village Clearance from where they come from is presented when applying for a Balabag Clearance.

Services and Facilities, paid for by the tourists

Quality service in exchange for the expenses the tourist made for a trip to Boracay.
This is what the Department of Tourism or DOT wants to happen.
In an interview with DOT Boracay Officer in Charge, Tim Ticar, this is the message he implied as an answer to the question as to why old and defective tricycles are still operating.
He clarified that the inspection of these tricycles is not in the scope of the DOT.
Instead it is the job of the Transportation Department of the LGU-Malay who provides franchises to these units.
Ticar admitted that there are really some tricycles that are not pleasant looking but are still allowed to operate.
This scenario he added is not fit for an international standard.
For this reason, he cited this as one of the problems in Boracay.
When in fact these transportation facilities are included in promoting or selling the name of this tourist destination that is Boracay, and that the standard of facilities and quality of services are actually being paid for by the tourists.
And it is just right to give it to them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Vehicles rendering service to tourists at Boracay and Kalibo are being scrutinized by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

This is so since when it is about tourist transportation, the DOT is in charge of its endorsement.

The scrutiny is allegedly to make sure that the facilities are presentable and comfortable for passengers of shuttle buses, vans and other vehicles servicing tourists.

According to Tim Ticar, the DOT Boracay Officer In Charge, vehicles which are more than two (2) years old are no longer endorsed.

Ticar added that in the inspection that is being conducted, it is being made certain that chairs, the airconditioning and the vehicles themselves are still in good condition.

Nevertheless, when it comes to “kolorums” or those without franchise, and the so called “Made in Italy,” referring to vehicles whose backside are already attached to vehicles just by the use of “tali” or rope in English but are still used for transportation at Caticlan and Kalibo, this allegedly is already the obligation of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

293 structures in Boracay set to be demolished

The National Boracay Task Force is set to demolish around 293 structures in Boracay’s beach line.

According to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer or PENRO-Aklan Officer Iven Reyes, the said demolition will start to kick off in March or April of this year.

Reyes said that despite the number of affected structures, he anticipates that the move will not be as bloody or tumultuous.

This is because on the mentioned dates the effected establishments will have a “self-demolition.”

He explained that the owners themselves are aware of their violations particularly when the Presidential Proclamation 1064 has been implemented on the island.

The proclamation stated that if the structure is within the 25+5 easement set by the DENR it will be demolished.

Reyes also clarified that the cited number is comprised of the tents set on the vegetation area, some establishments, and structures, residential or government owned.

Meanwhile, the PENRO also said that before the demolition will be carried out, they will have a talk with those affected on February to March 2013.

This demolition will be implemented by the National Task Force which includes the Departments of Justice, Environment, Tourism and Local Government.

At this moment the PENRO office is now preparing the letters and or notifications for the owners of the affected structures.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Tourists have nothing to worry regarding the rumors that there are fake Travel Agencies or Travel Online Reservations at Boracay.

This was stated by Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) President Dionesio “Jony” Salme in an interview.

He said there had been no report of a fake travel agency in the island.

In exception is for the incident before New Year’s Day wherein a tourist was booked in a resort at Balabag Village by a travel agency, only to find out that its contract with the resort had expired.

Nevertheless, Salme clarified that the involved Travel Agency was not fake.  The resort did not receive the bookings since the travel agency no longer had a contract with the resort.

Salme added that the resort and travel agency searched for an accommodation for the tourist when things had been made clear.

However, he also said despite the rumors being untrue, tourists should at least remain vigilant when contacting travel agencies in Boracay, and if possible choose those with a good image and a reliable name.

Lady Boys “harassing” tourists – A bad image for Boracay, said DOT

“Bad image” for Boracay

This is the effect of the worsening situation with what was called the “lady boys” in the island and the harassment and robbery they are committing against the tourists.

According to Department of Tourism Officer in Charge, Tim Ticar, if this annoyance will continue, to the extent of “harassment” as some of these lady boys will even force tourists to be their customers, this will alter the image of Boracay.

The tourists will be going home with a bad experience and may pass it on to other possible visitors instead of promoting the island.

He also noted the bother it caused to those people who just wanted to go for a walk or bar hopping.

In line with this Ticar also communicated with the Malay Auxiliary Police or MAP as they are the implementer of the law and monitor the activities of these lady boys.

He also mentioned how, through the cooperation of stakeholders, the guards in resorts and establishments could be of help in this issue.

The Boracay Police had previously acknowledged the dilemma with these lady boys who are involved with prostitution, deceit, harassment, and robbery, victimizing tourists particularly the foreigners.

Monday, January 7, 2013

BFI ready to help Kalibo for Ati-atihan celebration

The stakeholders in Boracay are busy preparing for the upcoming Ati-atihan 2013 celebration on the island.

However, they are still ready to help the organizers of Kalibo ati-atihan when it comes to the promotion of what is dubbed as the “Mother of all festivals in the country”, the Sto. Nino Ati-atihan.

In an interview with Boracay Foundation Incorporated or BFI President, Dionesio “Jony” Salme, he said that they are positive in promoting and or introducing the mentioned festival to the tourists in Boracay to be a part of it.

Even as they are also promoting Boracay’s own Ati-atihan celebration which will be held this January 13, Sunday.

Salme also mentioned that the Management of Kalibo Ati-atihan once asked for their assistance in encouraging the tourists to visit and witness the festival.

Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Foundation Incorporated or KASAFI Chairman, Albert Menez previously admitted how they were hoping that the tourists in Boracay would take part in their celebration.

However, as the influx of tourists in Boracay increases every year, the opposite is happening with regard to the number of tourists joining in the Kalibo Ati-atihan.

The Ati-atihan in Kalibo this year will be held from January 14 to 19.