‘Offensive:’ Palace condemns defecation incident in Boracay beach

August 15, 2019 - 5:55 PM
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Signage in Boracay
A sign prohibiting swimming is put up on a beachfront area of Boracay’s Station 1, where a foreign national was reported to have allowed her child to defecate. (DENR/Released)

The Palace denounced the defecation incident in Boracay in which a tourist allowed her child to commit the act that goes against certain environmental laws.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the act “offensive” and said that everyone, whether he is a foreigner or a Filipino, is expected to adhere to the rules and regulations of a place, particularly a tourist destination.

“Even if it’s a Filipino or a foreign tourist, it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene,” he said, referring to the act.

“There are rules and regulations in that place so everyone is expected whether foreigner or Filipino tourists to follow rules. And that obviously is a violation,” Panelo added.

He also suggested that the area should have portable restrooms along the beachfront to prevent such instances from happening.

Yesterday, the Boracay inter-agency task force cordoned off the area near Willy’s Rock along Station 1 after a video of a tourist letting her child defecate and another one burying soiled diapers went viral.

Based on the original uploader’s testimony, the mother allowed her child to defecate, covered it with sand and then eventually washed her buttocks on the beach.

Other foreigners and Filipinos called her attention but she reportedly ignored them.

Another woman was seen burying soiled diapers on the sands not far from the shoreline.

As a result, at least 100 meters of the beachfront was closed from the public for a period of 48 to 72 hours, according to Boracay interagency rehabilitation group general manager Natividad Bernardino.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau was also tasked to take water samples from the area.

Last year, the popular tourist destination underwent a six-month closure for rehabilitation and environmental restoration following President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders.

Provisions violated

Boracay is covered by Malay’s municipal ordinance that prohibits people from littering and committing actions against the environment.

Called Malay’s “Anti-Littering Ordinance of 2011,” it explicitly prohibits people from “urinating, spitting and defecating in public places, waterways and recreational areas.”

The ordinance defines public places as “beaches, path roads, pathways, vegetation areas, streets, sidewalks, highways, parks, playgrounds, schools, government offices and any other edifices publicly used.”

Meanwhile, it defines recreational areas as the “sea surrounding mainland Malay and the Island of Boracay, beaches, parks, plazas, playgrounds, athletic/sports grounds and other similar places.”

First-time violators would be fined Php1,000 or be imprisoned for 10 to 30 days. They could also be penalized and then jailed if the court deems it.