Duterte’s threat to close Boracay alarms biz group

Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI)

A group of businessmen expressed “alarm” over President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that he would close Boracay Island once its environmental problems are not solved within six months.

In its official statement, the Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) said to close the entire island at the expense of the compliant establishments is “unjust.”

“While indeed there are many violators, most of the island’s business establishments are strictly in compliance with prevailing ordinances and regulations,” it stressed.

BFI said the closure would not only affect businesses on the island, but also “the residents who depend on the island’s tourism for their livelihood.”

According to BFI, Duterte’s pronouncement “stems from misinformation and unverified data presented to him.”

BFI, meanwhile, welcomed the six-month ultimatum given by the President to the government agencies concerned to address the issues of Boracay.

“It has long been the plea of the business sector through the BFI that Boracay be given the attention it so rightfully deserves,” BFI said.

“We have continuously expressed our frustration and dismay over the lack of attention given by the National Government and other offices concerned to the island of Boracay,” it added.

BFI said it is “hopeful” that the problems hounding Boracay “may finally be addressed as agencies and departments concerned will be pressured to urgently fix the island’s problems.”

The business group suggested solutions to the problems.

It urged authorities to “strictly implement existing environmental laws and local ordinances and close all erring establishments immediately.”

BFI committed to “collaborate with agencies concerned to address the issues.”

“Let us work on fixing Boracay, while maintaining open lines of communication, transparency, and consultation with the local community on the ground. We can help restore Boracay – but its restoration cannot happen overnight and on its own,” it said.

BFI is the island’s biggest business organization It has been existing for more than twenty years.IMT