President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday approved the recommendation of three government agencies for a six-month closure of Boracay effective April 26 to make way for the rehabilitation of the world-famous holiday destination.
Duterte arrived at the decision during the 24th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang where the proposal of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, and Tourism was tackled, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra described the discussion on the matter as “exhaustive,” adding calamity funds “will be activated to tide affected workers over.”
Before this, the Office of the President received the detailed memorandum containing the justification of the three agencies pushing for the closure.
Details of the memorandum have yet to be released by the Palace, which it had asked in light of concerns on the closure's impact on businesses and livelihood in the area.
The Palace had also considered a recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the shutdown to be done in phases.
Stakeholders earlier said the impending closure of the prime tourist destination may result in at least P56 billion in foregone revenues and render 36,000 people jobless.
Duterte had said that he will shut down the island, which he described as a "cesspool," if its sewage problem would remain unresolved in six months.
He also threatened to slap sedition charges against those who would actively resist his plan to restore Boracay to its pristine state. —JST, GMA News