ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PCCI seeks a three-phased shutdown of Boracay
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) wants the government to rehabilitate Boracay in three phases, instead of the planned six-month full closure of the island resort
In an emailed statement Tuesday, the chamber said closing the island in three phases would be a “win-win” solution.
“A three-phased (geographic) closure of the island is the best win-win solution to minimize the impact on the economic well-being of the various stakeholders,” PCCI director for Tourism Samie Lim said.
Stakeholders have voiced their concerns that closing the island for up to one year could result in at least P56 billion in foregone revenues, and render as much as 36,000 people jobless.
The PCCI noted a viable option would be to close Boracay in three phases based on geography, particularly the entry points Cagban jetty port, Punta Bunga, and Sibuyan Sea.
“With these three possible entry and exit points, the idea is to close only one point of entry at a time to gradually restore the island in phases,” it said.
“Many establishments owe the banks money. Hence, without a revenue stream, they may not be able to handle their interest payments appropriately and the ripple effects would carry over to the overall financial, supply, and employment value chain,” Lim said.
President Rodrigo Duterte called the island a “cesspool” and threatened to close it.
The Departments of Tourism (DOT), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended a total closure of Boracay for six months.
PCCI president Ma. Alegra Sibal-Limjoco said the six-month shutdown would unnecessary disrupt legitimate businesses in the island.
“While shutting down the island for at least six months appears to be the most practical option to urgently solve its current issues, we believe it will create unnecessary disruption in many legitimate and law-abiding micro and small businesses and job losses for thousands of local residents of Boracay,” she said.
Lim said the PCCI is open to discussing options with the government before its final decision on the matter.
“We trust that the various concerned government agencies have done a thorough economic and social impact assessment of not just the immediate but also the medium and long-term effects of closing the island, and that they will share their findings with the affected stakeholders,” Lim said. —Jon ViktorCabuenas/VDS, GMA News
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