In principle, I fully support the decision of the President to close Boracay for six months in order to allow the world famous tourist destination to recuperate from the environmental stress it has suffered over the years. I have stated in the past that we need to allow Boracay to breathe and at the same time allow us to rethink our policies in order to ensure the sustainability of tourism in that area.
However, I hope President Duterte would reconsider the effectivity of the order. My proposal is to close Boracay this coming June which is considered as “off season”, in order to minimize the disruption to the bookings and reservations already made by tourists.
I welcome the statement of the President that he would utilize the calamity fund to help workers affected by the closure. I urge the administration to provide alternative livelihood for those who will be temporarily displaced as a result of the temporary closure for 6 months.
I also urge the DENR/DOT/DILG, which studied the proposal, to consider the immediate closure of those erring establishments. But those establishments which are compliant should be allowed to operate up until the 6 month closure order.
Let us support this decision which in the long run will be beneficial not only to the residents of Boracay and the tourism industry but also our future generations.