Philippine police hold drills ahead of Boracay closure, activists protest
Philippine security forces held security drills on the beaches of Boracay on Tuesday (April 24) to demonstrate its capability to handle threats ahead of the island’s six-month shutdown.
Police, soldiers, navy and coast guard officers belonging to Boracay’s security task force showed how they tackled clashes with protesters and hostage-taking situations in front of a crowd of tourists in the Philippines’ top tourist hotspot.
The exercise was in preparation for a bigger security drill on Wednesday (April 25) in front of the island’s business owners and other stakeholders.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the island to be closed off from tourists this month. The project will attempt to recover wetlands and forests as well as demolish establishments that have made sanitary violations.
But the announcement has met protest in Manila. Activists gathered outside the environment ministry on Tuesday to demonstrate against what they said were a lack of scientific and concrete plans to conduct the six-month rehabilitation.
Boracay, which will be closed to local and foreign tourists from April 26, has joined other beach resorts across Southeast Asia facing growing pressure due to a surge in visitors.