P20 billion potential tourism receipts may be lost due to Boracay's closure for 6 months, official says
The Philippines could lose up to P20 billion tourism receipts with the closure of Boracay island in Aklan for six months, an official said on Thursday.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III said this was why the government has to fast-track the rehabilitation of the famous tourist destination.
"Looking at it in the perspective of an investment banker, the estimate if we will go through the full six months, it could reach around 18 to 20 billion (pesos) potential loss in gross receipts. That’s why it is not to the interest of everybody to go the full 6 months. We have to fast track everything," he said.
He urged all stakeholders and volunteers to help in the whole rehabilitation process.
"So if everybody comes into the picture, we can cut the process by at least two months," Densing said.
Duterte has approved the recommendation of the interagency task force, composed of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, and Tourism, to totally close Boracay to tourists for six months starting April 26.
The president will issue a proclamation declaring a state of calamity in the island before its closure, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Of the estimated 35,000 workers in Boracay, 17,000 are direct hire and out of this, half could lose their job, Densing said.
On the other hand, about 10,000 to 12,000 indirect workers, such as tricycle drivers and vendors, could also be displaced, he added.
But Roque, in the same press briefing, quoting Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, said the government could provide P2 billion to assist the workers who would be displaced.
He added that with the rehabilitation of Boracay, jobs could also be created. Celerina Monte/DMS