President Rodrigo Duterte has not issued his official decision on the recommendations of government agencies to temporary close Boracay Island.
Consequently, Malacañang ensured that this summer break, tourists can still visit the island beach resort.
“I don’t think any closure will happen during the peak season of Boracay. We’re looking at — possibly if the president finally accepts the recommendation — lean season,” said Presidential Spokesperson Roque.
The president said he is willing to support whatever the decision of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año will be on the issue.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Tourism (DOT) have been recommending a maximum of one year closure of Boracay Island to rehabilitate it.
“Boracay, he thinks will take a little bit longer. And I answered him, I said, ‘General, I placed you there. Whatever is your decision, I will support you. It’s up to you. You just make the recommendation. And if I find everything that is alright and in consonance, go ahead.’ He said, ‘It will take about something like six months.’ So do it, it’s their actions which destroy Boracay, not us,” said Duterte.
Malacañang is not sure if the Boracay closure will affect the recently approved contract to build new casino resorts on the island.
But according to Roque, the developers must follow the government’s requirements in the construction of the infrastructures such as adequate water and sewer system.
“Warning to the developer, they should know that all their development plans hinges on what the president will decide upon on the issue of Boracay. But right now there is a moratorium on new improvements, so they can’t build even if they want to today because of the moratorium,” said Roque.— Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue