BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan A group of business owners here said it was unjust to close the entire island of Boracay.
The Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), in a statement released on Monday evening, said it was deeply alarmed over the recent statement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on closing Boracay.
In his speech at a business forum in Davao City on Feb. 9, the President threatened to order the closure of the island if its problems are not solved in six months.
The BFI, which consists of more than 150 establishments, said it believed that Duterte's statement stemmed from the misinformation and unverified data presented to him.
The group said that while there were many violators, most of the island's business establishments are strictly in compliance with prevailing ordinances and regulations.
It is unjust to close the entire island at the expense of the compliant establishments, the BFI stated.
It further said the solution was to close all erring establishments immediately and to strictly implement existing environmental laws and local ordinances.
To close the island would be an easy way out and too much to bear for the residents who depend on the island's tourism for their livelihood, the group said.
The BFI, meanwhile, welcomed the six months ultimatum given by the President to the agencies and departments concerned to address the issues of Boracay.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior and Local Government have been tasked to resolve the island's problems.
With the attention given by the national government to the island, the BFI is hopeful that Boracay's issues may finally be addressed as agencies and departments concerned will be pressured to urgently fix the island's problems.
The business sector has long been appealing for attention from the national government, according to the group.
The group also added the island rightfully deserves attention as the country's premier tourist destination that generated PHP56 billion in tourism revenues last year and provides thousands of jobs.
We can help restore Boracay - but its restoration cannot happen overnight and on its own. We need everyone to set aside their personal interests and together make this happen for the future generations, the group said.
The BFI likewise called on its members to strictly comply and follow the necessary policies to be implemented.
Source: Philippine News Agency