President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday the government will make available about P2 billion for locals of Boracay island who will be affected by the six-month rehabilitation of the world-famous beach destination.
"If you are asking for a financial help, we are going to assign the proclamation of calamity and we can make available about P2 billion of assistance but these are only for the poor Filipinos," Duterte said at a press conference in Davao City prior to departing for China.
He was referring to government assistance to the locals of Boracay who will be adversely affected by the temporary closure of the island to make way for its six-month rehabilitation starting April 26.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said the six-month closure of the island would at most have a 0.1-percent effect on the gross domestic product (GDP), but this could have "significant" effects on the local economy.
"The money is only intended for the Filipino. 'Yung mga foreigners, neither reparations or remuneration. Eh sila 'yung pumasok diyan. They should know na bawal," Duterte said.
"I will not spend any single centavo for those inns there, hotel owners, or motels. At tsaka 'yung mga magaganda bahay, do not expect me to pay anything," he added.
The six-month rehabilitation of the island was recommended by the DENR, the DOT, and the DILG last month after Duterte threatened to close down the island after he described the tourist destination as a "cesspool." — RSJ, GMA News