- The PNP will deploy riot police to the Boracay island
- A police official said this is to preempt confusion, uncertainty and low morale among those affected by the closure
- The 138-strong crowd dispersal unit will be on top of the 600 police officers tasked to secure the island
MANILA, Philippines – In anticipation of possible public unrest over the closure of Boracay, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be deploying dozens of riot cops to the tourist island.
The move is also aimed at keeping tourists and other intruders at bay, said Western Visayas police chief Cesar Binag during a meeting with stakeholders on Tuesday.
Binag said a 138-strong ‘crowd dispersal unit’ will be added to the 600 police officers earlier tasked to secure Boracay as it goes into lockdown this coming April 26 upon the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to give way to the massive rehabilitation plan which will last for 6 months.
“In any transition especially with a drastic action such as this, there are confusion, uncertainty and low morale,” said Binag.
“What we did is we mapped out sources of confusion, uncertainty and low morale that might result in agitation and become a security issue,” the police official added.
Once the rehabilitation period starts, access to the 1,000-hectare island will be limited to a single port and residents will need to carry a government-issued identification cards.
Boating and night swimming on beaches will also be banned while journalists who want to cover the activities inside will have to go through stringent security procedure.