Boracay closure maybe extended - Cimatu

Boracay island may not be ready within six months as per the Environmental Secretary Roy Cimatu, the closure might be extended for rehabilitation.

More time might be needed for Boracay rehabilitation as 43 illegal pipe lines were discovered on the beachfront of the island. The team escavated and relocated the illegal pipes after conducting a survey along the beach using a ground-penetrating radar. 

They also found a high level of coliform bacteria in the waters. Cimatu warned that criminal and administrative sases as well as fines amounting to P10,000 up to P200,000 per day will be imposed to those found responsible for the installation of illegal pipes.

The leader of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) is disappointed with Cimatu’s pronouncement that the closure of Boracay might be extended to more than six months.

“We cannot accept this. Any closure for more than six months will be catastrophic not only for the stakeholders of Boracay but (also) for its people… very disappointing. They promised six months and we will hold them to that,” TCP president Jose Clemente told The STAR.
“This was the very reason we were requesting for a detailed plan of the rehabilitation from the beginning. This eventuality was also the reason we asked that we be given a few months before closing the island to prepare the people and our clients,” he added.

Clemente also said the TCP will consult with other groups and come up with proposals “to mitigate the effects of a possible prolonged closure,” and ask the Department of Tourism to intervene to help them.

Should the government extend the closure of Boracay, Clemente said the TCP will be compelled to exhaust all legal remedies to stop the extension of the closure.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it can provide cash-for-work (CFW) assistance to 8,000 workers and residents affected by the closure of Boracay.

For the implementation of CFW assitance program in barangays Balabag, Yapak and Manocmanoc, P77 million was allocated.

Under the program, each  worker will receive P323.50 as daily wage with the work lasting up to 30 days.  Various works will be done such as digging, dredging, desilting of canals and drainages, planting of trees, reforestation, clearing pathways, shelter/facilities repair, demolition of illegal structure, clearing of debris, garbage collecting, installing of support facilities and hauling of food and non-food items.

Source: The Star

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