The local government of Malay, Aklan has no concrete plan yet on the order to shutdown Boracay Island.
Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Rowen Aguirre, said they have yet to detail how to assist the affected residents.
“Hindi kakayanin ng LGU ang magpoprovide ng financial assistance doon sa mga madidisplace. If there’s no economic acitivity, wala ring cash flow,” said Aguirre.
(The LGU cannot handle providing financial assistance to the displaced families. If there’s no economic activity, there’s also no cash flow.)
The national government vowed to provide P2-billion worth of cash for work assistance to the displaced workers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the financial aid will go through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and will be distributed to residents who will help in the rehabilitation of the province.
Despite this, Arnel Pamal, who works as a chef, is worried especially as they are expecting their third baby.
“Sa mga casual magkakaroon talaga ng forced leave. Nag-uumpisa palang talaga. Malungkot kasi ma-close na uli kung kelan nag-umpisa na ako,” said Pamal.
(To casual workers, there will be forced leave. I just started working. I’m sad because we are closing just when I started work.)
Myrna Prado, a massage therapist, is also worried about the fate of her 10 children who depend on her income alone.
“Wala na akong ibang hanapbuhay. Wala pang trabaho ang asawa ko,” she said.
(I have no other livelihood. My husband has no work.)
Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is against the closure of Boracay island for half a year.
Gatchalian said that the timeframe is too long, noting the removal of illegal structures could be completed within just three months.
“The activities can be conducted by partial closure or a closure of different segments of Boracay,” said Gatchalian.
Sen. JV Ejercito, on the other hand, supports the government’s move to shut down the tourist spot but noted that it should be done in June to lessen its impact. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News & Rescue
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