President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the inter-agency task force to close Boracay for six months effective April 26. The decision was announced during the meeting of Cabinet officials at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday (April 4).
The recommendation was given by the task force composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
To recall, there have been plans to close Boracay due to environmental problems hounding it, which have turned the pristine beach destination into a “cesspool”.
The debate among public officials and island residents was whether to partially or fully close it.
A Senate investigation was also conducted in Boracay, where various violations by commercial establishments and other organizations were discovered, including the building of properties in protected wetlands.
Despite the problems hounding the island, it remains a popular destination. A total of 172,358 tourists visited the island last month (March), which is seven percent higher than the 160,696 arrivals in March 2017, according to the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office’s Economic Enterprise Development Department.
Boracay’s closure will surely sadden island regulars as well as tourists as it has been popular and top beach destination for many.
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