Boracay closure ‘not permanent,’ Palace assures

MANILA MalacaAang on Monday assured that the recommendation to close Boracay will not be permanent, saying President Rodrigo R. Duterte could even decide to shorten the period to less than a year.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement following the appeal of the Aklan local government and tourism stakeholders to think twice about the one-year closure as it could cripple the island's tourism industry.

The proposed one-year closure of Boracay was recommended by an interagency task force headed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Wala pong possibility ng (There's no possibility of a) permanent closure! (These are) only steps that must be undertaken to protect the environment of Boracay, Roque said in a briefing in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Hindi naman po katanggap-tanggap na permanenteng isasara ang (It is unacceptable to permanently close) Boracay, he added.

Roque explained that although the proposed closure of Boracay is for one year, it was still up to Duterte whether he would accept, reject, or even shorten the period of closure.

Ang desisyon po sa Boracay ay gagawin po ng ating Presidente. Iyan po ay preliminary recommendation, pero kung papansinin ninyo po iyong preliminary recommendation is closure from maximum of one year (It will be up to the President to decide on what to do with Boracay. That's the preliminary recommendation, but if you notice, the preliminary recommendation is closure for maximum of one year), Roque said.

So, pupuwede po iyang sundin ng Presidente, puwedeng baliwalain, pupuwedeng isang buwan, tatlong buwan. Hindi pa po natin alam. So pag-aaralan pa po iyan ng Presidente (So, the President can follow it, ignore it, could make it last for a month, or three months. We don't know. So that's still being studied by the President), he added.

Roque also assured anew that Duterte will be making a fair decision based on the task force's recommendation.

What the President has said is he will be fair in his decision on what to do with Boracay and he is a president who listens, Roque said.

He stressed that the partial closure was merely a remedial measure to ensure that the environment in Boracay is protected.

Kung sabihin natin magkakaroon ng (If, lets say, there would be a) partial closure. It is to ensure that Boracay will be viable for the next generations to come, Roque said.

Source: Philippine News Agency