Plastic cups, garbage litter Boracay beach on 1st day of dry run

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — On the first day of the dry run of Boracay island's reopening following months of cleaning and rehabilitation, trash was spotted littered in some areas of the beach front Monday.

Photos posted on social media just hours after dry run ceremonies in the island showed plastic bags, cups, and other garbage items scattered near the shoreline. The images gathered a lot of netizens' reactions.

Asked for comment, Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force head and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said trash bins may be scarce or lacking in those areas.

"I've directed the environmental patrol assigned to the area to put trash can in that area. Trash bins recently donated will be issued to establishments to be placed in the white beach under the coconut trees," he added.

Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato said while they have not physically seen the trash, the items were cleaned immediately after the Salubungan event which happened earlier Monday morning morning.

He claimed that since this is the first day, the island is restarting its systems.

"Maasahan niyo po na [Everyone can expect that] moving forward, within the next ten days, we have already started the feeling again of running the island. Kasama na rin po 'yung pagkokolekta ng basura [Part of that will be collecting trash]," Boncato said.

However, Boncato said responsibility does not lie only on government alone, but also with communities.

On Tuesday, Tourism Chief Berna Romulo Puyat posted on Twitter that Cebu Pacific Air donated trash bins.

"No more excuses to litter. Throw your trash in the garbage bins, where they belong. Keep our beaches clean and pristine," she said in her tweet.

 

The island is set to have its soft opening on October 26, after the 10-day-long dry run which allowed Aklanon and Western Visayas residents to enter the island.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to close down the island on April 26 for rehabilitation after he branded it a "cesspool."

READ: Rebuilding Boracay: Timeline, what to expect

CNN Philippines senior correspondent David Santos contributed to this report.