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Boracay closure to have minimal impact on the economy —NEDA

The proposed six-month closure of Boracay will have no significant impact on the Philippine economy, but may have negative short-term effects on the island, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Tuesday.

In a press conference in Pasig City, NEDA National Policy & Planning Staff Director Reynaldo Cancio said closing the island for an environmental cleanup will not dent the macroeconomic prospects of the country.

“The overall picture we see is that even if the ban extends up to, say, six months, at the macro level it’s not going to have a significant effect,” he said.

“At the most, 0.1 percent of GDP (gross domestic product). That’s the current estimate,” Cancio noted.

The Departments of Tourism (DOT), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Interior and Local Government (DILG), recommended the total closure of the island for six months.

President Rodrigo Duterte has called the island resort a “cesspool” and threatened to close it down.

According to stakeholders of the island, a year-long closure of the island could result in at least P56 billion in foregone revenues and render as much as 36,000 people jobless.

“The short-term impact could be significant for Malay. We cannot give the specific numbers,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said at the same briefing.

Boracay is part of the municipality of Malay in Aklan province.

Edillon noted the government will help those affected by the closure. “There will be a contingency plan for them. If there’s proper coordination, it doesn’t have to be that bad,” she said.

“We are recommending that it be started during the lean season. We are also recommending that a number of these workers, those who can, can actually be involved in the cleanup drive,” she said.

The government targets a 7.0 to 8.0 percent full-year economic growth for 2018. —VDS, GMA News