Philippines approves six-month closure of Boracay from April

Philippines approves six-month closure of Boracay from April

Philippine island a 'cesspool,' will close for 6 months

A LABOR group in Negros Occidental wants an assurance from the government that it will provide livelihood to workers who will be displaced amid the upcoming closure of Boracay Island in Aklan.

A total of P2 billion worth of calamity funds will be allotted to the displaced workers of legitimate businesses in the island, and not to any resort owners, Roque said.

Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing 3rd said losses for the full six months would reach P18 billion to P20 billion, in potential gross receipts.

Some suspect that the construction of an integrated resort-casino in the island is the reason for the closure.

A decision by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to shut the holiday hotspot of Boracay, which he has called a "cesspool", prompted airlines to cut flights yesterday, as hotels prepared for cancellations and businesses appeared resigned to a move the government said was non-negotiable.

'There will be no income and we have bills to pay so I don't know how I will survive'.

The Philippines' tourism industry scrambled Friday to manage the fallout from the temporary shutdown of its world-famous Boracay island, which threw into chaos trips planned by hundreds of thousands of tourists.

"Yet in fact we're not able to address the major issue that it is not in terms of public safety, public order, road systems and of course, the issue of environmental degradation".

In closing the island to visitors, Duterte, known for his no-nonsense style, was responding to numerous government inspections following his criticism in February of sanitary conditions on the island.

He said that in six months' time, half of the 948 illegal structures in the forest lands of Boracay would be dismantled.

The closure, which is shorter than the one-year shutdown recommended by the environment ministry, comes just a few weeks after the government gave Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd permission to build a $500 million casino and resort in Boracay.

Government officials in the coming months will inspect establishments for environmental compliance and upgrade of sewage and drainage systems.

More than 2million tourists visited Boracay for its beaches and nightlife past year, generating about £760million in revenue.

"If given the opportunity, yes, we would like to present our case".

Cebu Pacific, the dominant domestic carrier, said it cancelled 14 daily round-trip flights to Caticlan and Kalibo, Boracay's two main gateways, from April 26 to Oct 25, while Philippine Airlines said it would scale down services to the airports and add flights to other destinations.

Starting April 20, PAL will deploy additional flights on routes between Manila and Cebu, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa and Bacolod.

Both PAL and Cebu Pacific offered customers full refunds or flights elsewhere, and said they would still operate a limited number of flights to Caticlan and Kalibo airports to serve residents, which number about 50,000.

It will expand flights to other tourist and provincial destinations in the Philippines, it said in a statement.

The island is very much dependent on tourism. "In the long-term, a safe and revitalized Boracay will benefit all stakeholders in the travel and tourism sectors, and the Filipino people as a whole".

Latest News