Boracay’s pristine waters are on the verge of irreparable contamination.Just a few months ago, President Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay. It goes as far as comparing it to a cesspool.
With establishments violating numerous environmental laws, something has to be done. The PH Government moves to completely close the island to tourist for a span of 6-months.
The closure was expected to be during the low-season July to October to minimize losses. Bad News. It will come earlier than expected.
Boracay shuts down for 6-months starting April 26 to October 25. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the closure last Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at the 24th Cabinet meeting after the exhaustive discussion with DENR, DILG, and DOT.
The Aim of the Closure
The closure aims to rehabilitate the island to its once less crowded and majestic beauty. The reparations are due to the multiple infractions by businesses in the area of clean water act, ecological waste management act, and land use regulations. This includes establishments dumping there drainage wastes direct to the sea. Imagine swimming in drainage wastes.
Calamity funds will be utilized for the restoration.
How Are Stakeholder Affected
NEDA estimated that the macroeconomic effect of the closure would just be 0.1% of the country’s GDP. But even so, the short-term implications of this move will be fatal for the family’s relying on tourism income.
The Boracay Foundation Incorporated presented data that over 17,000 employees would be hit at the closure of the island. And this goes further up by 19,000 more if we account from the informal sector (vendors, tattoo artists, etc.).
In terms of financials, P56 Billion will be lost in tourism revenue based on the data gathered on the first 9 months of operation last 2017. This is roughly 20% of the tourism revenue of the whole country.
The announcement for the implementation procedures has not yet been released. We have yet to know how the PH government can minimize the effects of this closure for all the stakeholders.
For a Start, Tourist Should Seek Refunds
For tourists, you better start calling your travel agency. It is now inevitable. You would not see Boracay’s magnificent waters until October 25.
Some companies like Cebu Pacific announced their flight cancellations to Kalibo and Caticlan already.
You can either:
Get a full refund
Place the full value of the ticket in a travel fund for future use
Rebook the flight, subject to seat availability
Reroute to any domestic destination, subject to seat availability
For the bigger problems, we can only demand the government to properly transition our fellow Filipinos. Let us watch out for any developments on this issue. Let us hope that this is for the betterment of Boracay’s tourism in the future.