The Philippines reacts to Boracay’s shutdown
What does the public have to say now that it's official?
Apr 5, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte has officially made the decision to close the Boracay for six months. The shutdown starts on Apr. 26ーjust a short three weeks from now.
With all the debate and concern over the island’s closure, there were still many hoping that the government would have a change of heart, or at least, impose less harsh sanctions. Unfortunately, the suggestions and pleas made by the affected parties (i.e. the local business owners and workers whose livelihood is dependent upon tourism) were ultimately disregarded.
This is what the presidential spokesperson had to say about it:
Bora closed for 6 mos effective 26 April
— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) April 4, 2018
Closing down the island for half a year is expected to create P56 billion in lost revenue, according to ABS-CBN. Even businesses that adhered to the proper environmental regulations are being forced to shut down.
As news of Boracay’s fate spread, many individuals have begun to express their disappointment over the situation.
And the fact that the development of a casino is in the horizon is adding salt to injury.
Getting a closer look tho, can’t help but overhear the worries & sense the uneasiness of those working in Boracay on the planned shutdown of the island + the unsettling fact that a foreign casino’s expected to rise here following this move towards “environmental rehabilitation” pic.twitter.com/0NhIZorRci
— Stacey Bellido (@stacey_bellido) March 28, 2018
But where does that leave the citizens of the island? They are, after all, the one’s whose livelihood will be most affected by the island’s closure.
We need stats on how many kilos of rice, meat and fish are consumed by Boracay tourists per day. Don't think only business owners are affected. Food suppliers, farms, fishermen, couriers, all workers involved in flying, feeding, and sheltering travelers will be without income.
— Shakira Sison (@shakirasison) April 5, 2018
Where did the downvotes even come from?
6mos of economic near-shutdown is no joke to people whose livelihood depends on Boracay's tourism. And knowing the Phils, that deadline would likely extend.
Also, w/ a certain casino proposal, it just sorta negates the whole pt doesn't it
— Joyce Kristine | A Chill Mix (@jaykaytiel) April 4, 2018
But there are those in support of the president’s decision, who believe that closing the island is for the best, explaining that if the locals truly cared about the island, they wouldn’t have allowed it to degrade to the state it’s in now.
But some remain hopeful that Boracay’s shutdown will reap benefits down the road.
“The island needs to be rehabilitated and we have to support the government,” says San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang, which operates the airport in Caticlan. “Yes, we will endure some short-term pain but it’s a step in the right direction and in end we are hopeful it would bring about long-term gain for all.”
The island’s closure will benefit the environment in the long run, yes. But what does the government plan to do about the people whose livelihood will be taken away?
As photographer Jason Magbanua said, they are not just a statistic in our country’s GDP, nor are they lost revenue. “We are talking about kids, mothers, fathers, entire families.”
It’s easy to say “it’s for the environment” or “they had it coming.” It’s easy to say when you’re not the one whose life will be turned upside down for six months.
But on the bright side of things:
There’s one good thing that will come out of the Boracay shutdown: NO ANNOYING #LABORACAY POSTS
— Marga Deona (@margadeona) April 4, 2018
Main images taken from Jason Magbanua’s video and the New York Times.
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