Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup

Photo by CNN Philippines/JL Javier

By Euan McKirdy/CNN – Boracay, one of the world’s most famous beach destinations, has reopened for a limited-numbers test run almost six months after closing for a cleanup operation to reverse the fortunes of the resort island once labeled a “cesspool” by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

The sun was out to welcome a small group of tourists from the province of Aklan, where the island is located, and other parts of Western Visayas.

The group was invited to test the newly improved facilities, which include a comprehensive overhaul of the island’s outdated and insufficient sewerage.

The resort island, which was shuttered in April for six months for rehabilitation work, is scheduled to reopen further later this month — labeled a “soft opening” by authorities.
Its famous white-sand beaches were signed off in August as “very clean” and safe for swimming, according to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

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