By Mario Casayuran
Detained Senator Leila M. de Lima, a member of the Senate minority bloc, said Saturday Filipinos should demand “transparent, participative and rational decision-making’’ to ensure that the needs and interests of the people in the tourist-oriented Boracay island are considered.
De Lima reminded the public to remain vigilant against the Duterte administration’s move towards Boracay rehabilitation which could negatively impact the lives of the poor residents and workers in the island.
“The erratic decisions regarding how to go about its rehabilitation – which are less like ‘plans’ and are more like ‘whims of the old tyrant’ at this point – show how little thought, regard, empathy and care [Duterte] has for those who will be affected,” she said.
“If there is one thing that families and businesses alike value, it is predictability in their income stream. That is what people are being robbed of – the ability to plan for themselves and have control of their daily lives – when the administration makes whimsical and ever-changing plans on the closure of the entire island of Boracay,” she added.
Upon the recommendation of the interior, environment, and tourism departments to close the island for six months to give way to the rehabilitation of Boracay, President Duterte approved the total closure for six months of the famed island effective April 26.
With the closure of Boracay, De Lima said the people lose the ability to ensure that their needs, the needs of those who depend on them, their obligations and their plans for future growth are adequately provided for.