BORACAY ISLAND - Chinese tourists here were identified as the top violator of ordinances, a local official said Thursday.
Since January 2019, 739 Chinese tourists have been apprehended for violating ordinances that bar anti-smoking, littering, and eating on the beach, Boracay Tourism Regulatory Enforcement Unit (TREU) chief Wilson Enriquez told ABS-CBN News
"Ini-inform na sila ng mga tour guide pero matitigas talaga ang ulo," he said.
(Tour guides have informed them about the ordinances but they are really stubborn.)
Korean tourists had the second highest number of violations with 277 offenses, while Filipino tourists incurred 92 misdeeds, data from Enriquez's office showed.
The issue has been brought up with a Chinese consul, and local tourism officers will continue strict monitoring of ordinance compliance, he said.
The violators were made to pay fines.
"Dito talaga no mercy. Kapag nahuli ka talaga that you are violating, you will be fined. Nobody is above the law," he said.
(There is no mercy here. If you are apprehended for a violation, you will be fined. Nobody is above the law.)
In a press briefing Thursday, Tourism Undersecretary Art Boncato Jr. said the tourism department continued to boost information dissemination to tourists on island regulations.
“The Department of Tourism is doing its way by communicating direct to tour operators and all the ground handlers to make sure that our tourists or even tour guides are in the knowing terms of the regulations that we are implementing especially along the white Beach," he said.
Stricter environmental policies have been implemented in the world-renowned beach paradise since October 2018, when it was reopened to tourists after a half-year rehabilitation shut down.
Boracay was first closed to tourists in April 2018 after President Rodrigo Duterte said overdevelopment on the island had turned its once pristine waters into cesspools.