Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirm to the media through a text yesterday that after the discussion with his cabinet officials, President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to close one of the country’s famous beach destinations for 6 months starting on April 26. It was recommended by the inter-agency task force compose of DILG, DENR and DOT.
Boracay is popular here and abroad known for its white sand and crystal clear water. It was even awarded as the 2012 best island in the world by international travel magazine. Last February, the president ordered for the total clean up of the island and expressed his frustrations about the current state of Boracay.
Meanwhile Senior Deputy Executive Menardo Guevarra revealed that Duterte’s decision is final. He also added that the calamity funds will be given for those who will be affected by the closure. On the other hand, Jose Clemente III said that he is surprise by the decision of the government and if they will be given an opportunity, the will present their case.
Businesses and Workers Wary of this DecisionWhen it was announced that the popular island will temporarily close, many of its laborers are worried that their source of income will compromise. One of them is Chiquita Magbanua who is selling accessories made from shells. During peak months from January till May, she earns Php 500 - Php 1000 per day while when it’s rainy season, she doesn’t have enough money.
When she was asked for her opinion about the recent decision of the government, she said that the closure means hunger. As of December 31 2017, there are a total of 17, 328 employees who work in hotels, restaurants and other establishments. However, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon stressed that they will make sure the businesses of the locals and its workers will be protected.