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Tourism chief Teo ‘working on’ 3- to 4-month Boracay shutdown

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo on Wednesday said she is working to have Boracay Island shut down for only three to four months instead of the original plan of six months.

"I'm working on three to four months. That's why we wanted it total closure for us to do it fast," Teo said in an ANC interview.

"'Di ba kapag closure 'yan, wala nang papasok na turista and everything? So we have to work really fast," she added.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of three government agencies—the Departments of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, and the Interior and Local Government—to close the popular tourist destination for six months starting April 26 for rehabilitation.

But while the Interior department's officer-in-charge Eduardo Año insists on a six-month closure, Teo believes that the Boracay cleanup can be accomplished in four months.

"Secretary Año was saying six months talaga. But I said I think kaya 'yung four months if the people in Boracay would coordinate with us," she said.

Teo said that she considered the monsoon season, which could affect rehabilitation efforts, in pushing for a four-month shutdown.

"If you do it during Habagat season, rainy, wala kang magawa. That's why we wanted it during summer season para mabilis ang trabaho," she said.

Duterte, however, has already said the length of time for the rehabilitation of Boracay Island will be ultimately decided on by Año and the closure may be for at least six months. — Erwin Colcol/BM, GMA News