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This Week in Boracay and Iloilo (October 31 to November 6, 2021)

Boracay to accept fully vaccinated holiday-goers

By: Mira Maestrecampo | October 31, 2021
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Boracay, Iloilo, COVID-19, vaccination, quarantine, fully vaccinated

Good news awaits travelers going for a holiday vacation in Boracay since fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter early November. The business and tourism sector aims to boost the economy by initiating less strict protocols such as removing the negative swab test requirement and allowing entry to fully vaccinated individuals. Fitness establishments are also set to reopen again in Boracay. The province of Aklan has been lauded since vaccination rates are showing optimistic data, thus the gradual reopening of establishments in the esteemed island, also given that the holiday season is approaching.

Vaccination drives for Iloilo and Aklan are still up and in action since the government had set their targets on inoculating a high percentage of fully vaccinated residents in their respective areas. Before the festivities of Christmas, Iloilo has been preparing to ensure a safe and secure All Saints’ Day tradition. The public is advised to pay a visit to their loved ones at earlier dates since cemeteries will be closing on the actual day of Undas.

Quarantine and Travel Updates: Boracay to accept tourists for the holidays

By November, fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter the province of Aklan and visit the famous island of Boracay without complying a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results. However, they would need to comply with a vaccination certificate issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). This step will take effect as early as the end of October as soon as the island’s population is fully inoculated, including residents and workers.

Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores announced this as he and the government of Aklan, together with the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, are hoping that they can reach the 100% target of vaccinating the whole population of the island, especially the tourism workers. This move is to invite more tourists to come to the island in preparation for the upcoming holidays.

In a virtual press conference of the BIATF held on October 22, Miraflores declared that the requirement of the RT-PCR test will be scrapped and will only require tourists to present a vaccination certificate. The governor is optimistic that opening up the island to fully vaccinated visitors will elevate the tourism of the island, and the country as a whole, amidst the pandemic. [1] On the other hand, partially vaccinated tourists will still need to comply with the negative swab test result. [2]

With this, Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that Boracay Island will be the first tourism area in the Philippines to achieve 100% of inoculation. [3] Puyat announced that around 91% of the population, including active tourism workers and residents, has been vaccinated. [4] The governor is set to release the official executive order of removing the swab test requirement by the end of this month or early next month. [5]

Vaccination Updates: Boracay’s high inoculation rate, door to a tourism bounce back

Boracay is almost close to reaching the government’s 100% inoculation target, enabling them to open the island to fully vaccinated tourists only, without the need for quarantine and an RT-PCR test result. As of October 19, DOT Secretary Romulo-Puyat has reported that 91.96% of tourism front liners have already had their COVID-19 jabs. As for the residents of the whole island, the government has vaccinated 77.87% of the entire island’s population. [7]

Aklan Governor Miraflores also announced that they expect 35,000 Pfizer vaccine doses to arrive, to vaccinate the remaining population. [8]

The Aklan government doubles its efforts to fully vaccinate all individuals on the island by the end of the month. They are firm in the hopes of reopening Boracay and furthering tourism promotion in the country.

Vaccination Updates: Iloilo sets vaccination target

Before this year ends, Iloilo aims a daily target to inoculate 35,000 individuals. Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. assessed that this will aid the government to achieve herd immunity against the virus successfully. The governor is hopeful of achieving this daily target with more vaccines still arriving, with the aim of the Provincial Health Office to expand in each town. Defensor is also eyeing the possibility of fully opening the vaccination to the public. [9]

The province is getting ready and waiting for the go signal of the Department of Health. PHO reports data that 31% percent of the target population has already been vaccinated as of October 19.

The Iloilo City government is progressing its actions by launching mega vaccination sites for the families of the employees working in establishments, households, offices, and others. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas declared that families of non-residents can now get vaccinated. The vaccination is still ongoing at other mega sites, in city hospitals, and villages. [10]

Health News: Gyms, fitness centers reopen in Boracay

Aklan Governor Miraflores officially allowed the reopening of fitness studios, gyms, and swimming pools up to 50% capacity. Included also in the resolution is outdoor dining being allowed at 100% capacity, and indoor dining is still at 50% capacity. Meetings, conventions, and other social events are only limited to 30% capacity. According to Miraflores, this latest resolution is because of the decreasing positive cases of COVID-19 in the province. It is also a way to boost up the economy as these establishments resume operations.

All Saints’ Day for the Ilonggos: Ensuring safe Undas 2021

Iloilo is set to follow the mandate of cemetery closure this forthcoming All Saints’ Day. Cemeteries, columbaria, and memorial parks are set to close from October 29 to November 2.

Mayor Treñas and Governor Defensor Jr. decided to follow the order of the closure of cemeteries, columbaria, and memorial parks as ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF-EID. Treñas would have allowed the public to go to cemeteries and facilities, whether partially or fully vaccinated, issued through Executive Order No. 129. Treñas and Defensor had the same thoughts of aligning their protocols with the national order by the IATF. [12] However, these facilities during Undas are open to the public before October 29. Families and friends can visit the departed at earlier dates. [13]

In line with the earlier practice of this upcoming All Saint’s Day, the authorities are reminding the public to be safe and secure and to ensure their households. Police officers will continue to be present and make sure that everything during All Saint's Day is in order and compliant with the health and safety protocols.

Upcoming Christmas: Parols cheer up streets, ignite hope in Iloilo

Parols or Christmas lanterns are up in the urban streets of Iloilo as The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Iloilo (PCCI) has brought back the Ilonggo Christmas Parol of Hope. [15]

This project has always been anticipated in Iloilo as it brings hope, love, and happiness. For the Ilonggos, the parols are a symbol of hope and resilience amidst the COVID-19 crisis going on for almost two years now. Mayor Treñas believes that everything will be back to normal again and that life goes on. Red, green, and yellow gold are the colors for this year’s Christmas parols.

Visit Yoorekka Consumer Magazine for more travel and COVID-19 updates and guidelines in Boracay and Iloilo!

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.


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About Mira Maestrecampo
Mira - with a long surname - is a girl who dreams of becoming a news anchor someday, in God's perfect time. She loves to read books and eat different kinds of cheesy or saucy food. A coffee addict and a dog lover, she loves long hugs, hot coffee on an afternoon break with friends, or simply sleeping all day with her stuffed unicorns.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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