Managers of large hotels in Boracay assured of safety against terrorism

BORACAY ISLAND—Several managers of large hotel chains operating here have been assured by the Joint Task Force  Boracay that the island is safe from terrorism.

The hotel managers were invited to witness the simulation exercise (Simex) held in Savoy Hotel here on Tuesday morning.

The joint task force includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Boracay Action Group, Philippine Coast Guard and the local government of Malay.

Carmen Villanueva, general manager of Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast Boracay, said one of their topmost concerns in the island is whether government enforcers are ready to act against terrorism.

The resort managers are wary of the possibility of the downgrade of the tourism industry in Boracay once it is hit by terrorists.

“Based on what I witness during the Simex, I am convinced Boracay is ready to respond during a crisis. I am volunteering myself to rally to the other stakeholders to announce to the world that Boracay is safe,” she said during the critiquing program of the Simex.

Wesley Van der Voort, a European hotel manager, was also convinced of the island’s safety, saying he would also disseminate the assurance on the safety of Boracay.

“As a board member of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Boracay, I would also inform all our officers and members of this good news,”
he said.

Peter Tay, a Filipino-Chinese and a head volunteer of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Boracay, said he received reports that Chinese tourists would double their numbers in 2018.

“Right now, there are seven regular flights from China going to Boracay. Next year, we expect this will reach 14 regular flights coming from the different provinces of China,” he said.

Other hotels also sent their representation, most of whom were general managers in the Simex, which includes the Shangri-La Resort and Spa Boracay, Crimson Resort and Diamond Water Sports.

Lt. General Oscar Lactao, commander of the AFP Central Command (Centcom) based in Cebu City, said there is no terror threat all over the Visayas, including in this resort island.

“All we wanted to do is to ensure everyone in Boracay from the hotel owners down to the residents and crew to be vigilant against terrorism. This is the success story of Bohol. The residents there are vigilant enough to immediately inform authorities about the presence of armed men in their area,” he said.

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Jun Ariolo N. Aguirre has been working as a correspondent in Business Mirror since June 2017. He studied his Bachelor of Arts major in Journalism at the Centro Escolar University. In 2012, he was recruited as a member of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Aklan chapter and has been since a member of the board of directors. He was then immersed in series of trainings and seminars related to business. He currently covers Boracay Island and the rest of provinces in Panay Island.