The Catholic prelate of the the resort island of Boracay in the central Philippines has expressed support for the “gradual reopening” of the island to local tourists.
“It is important,” said Father Palermo Suganob of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish on the island. “It is important because there is an opening,” he added.
“Even though it is gradual, at least something is being opened,” said the priest even as he noted that several residents have expressed opposition to the move.
The Department of Tourism has accredited eight hotels to accept tourists from the western Visayas region.
Boracay reopened this week to tourists from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
Officials and business owners were hoping that tourists from the region would visit the island and help boost confidence for other travelers.
This resort island has been closed to tourism since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The reopening of the island was, however, marred by a report that a visitor to the island has tested positive for the new coronavirus disease this week.