Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is supporting the recommendation of Eduardo Año, officer in charge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to close Boracay Island for six months to fix its environmental problems.
The president has been critical of the filthy state of the island, whose powdery white sand and calm blue waters attract two million visitors yearly.
Last month, he directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to solve the sewage and garbage problem in six months, or he would shut down the resort island .
However, Año had told him that resolving the problems of Boracay could take a little bit longer.
“I answered him, ‘General … whatever is your decision, I will support you. It’s up to you. Just make the recommendation and if I find everything that is all right and in consonance with … it will be implemented,’” the President said.
Año then suggested a time frame. “He said it will take about something like six months. I said, ‘then do it,” Duterte said.
The people of Boracay have been protesting the proposal to close down the popular tourist destination. However, Duterte has made a statement to the people, saying, “You were the ones that destroyed Boracay, not us. It is said you will hold demonstrations. Don’t give me that trouble.”
The President has already warned Boracay local officials and businessmen that they would be arrested and charged with sedition if they refused to cooperate with the government campaign to fix the island’s pollution problems.
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
Photo courtesy of CNN Philippines
UPDATE: President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the closure for 6 months of Boracay effective April 26, his spokesman confirmed.