Despite opposition, 6 months Boracay closure pushes thru

Published March 27, 2018, 11:10 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By the Philippine News Agency

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu (DOT / MANILA BULLETIN)
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu

BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan — Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu expressed a firm stance on the 6-month closure of Boracay to tourists as recommended by the interagency group despite continued objections from local stakeholders.

Cimatu said the recommendation was already submitted to President Duterte and expected to be discussed during the April 5 Cabinet meeting.

On Monday, Cimatu met with officials of the local government of Malay, Aklan provincial government, the two water utilities — Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) and Boracay Tubi — and other agencies involved in the Boracay cleanup.

The closure could be shortened, according to Cimatu, depending on the actions undertaken by Boracay stakeholders and other concerned agencies prior to the initially proposed closure date on April 26.

“We are one in saying that we will do our best to comply with the six months, or if we can make it earlier then much better,” Cimatu said.

The meeting was conducted to come up with an integrated plan for Boracay that will be completed Tuesday, March 27.

Cimatu said the Department of Social Welfare and Development also joined Monday’s activity to look into the possibility of giving assistance to those who will be displaced, in case the closure pushes through.

Cimatu added that the final decision will still come from President Duterte.