Starting on June 16, residents of Western Visayas can finally enjoy again Boracay's white-sand beaches. This comes after the Boracay Interagency Task Force approved the recommendation from the local government of Aklan to reopen the island, which has been under modified general community quarantine since June 1.

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For the first phase of easing border restrictions, only locals between the ages of 21 and 59 from the six provinces of Region VI-Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental-will be allowed to enter Boracay Island.

"The tourists will be accommodated in hotels accredited by the Department of Tourism," Boracay Interagency Task Force Chair and Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the virtual briefing. But of the 390 accredited properties, only 98 have applied to reopen. "We are encouraging the others to please send in your letter of intent to operate. The DOT wants to give everyone the certificate of authority to operate," Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat added.

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