Boracay stakeholders still in the dark as closure nears
STAKEHOLDERS gathered in a Department of Tourism (DoT)–organized Save Boracay Workshop, nine days before the country’s premier tourist destination will be shut down by the national government on orders of President Rodrigo Duterte, remain in a quandary as to exactly what will happen to their businesses and their employees.
“The only thing that we’re dead certain about is that we will shut down our businesses for half a year, and we don’t know exactly how to take care of our workers,” said Nenet Graf, president of Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI).
“We’re wracking our brains trying to figure out where to get the money to pay them for six months because DoLE (Department of Labor and Employment), we understand, does not want us to close our businesses, and we’re being asked to pay regular wages for the duration of the island shutdown,” said Ms. Graf, sounding exasperated.
Ms. Graf — a native of Boracay and an internationally recognized windsurfer, along with a handful of stakeholders who include resort and restaurant owners, representatives of indigenous peoples living on the island, tour operators and the like came to the workshop meeting at the Savoy Hotel at Megaworld’s Newcoast development at the northernmost tip of Boracay, thinking they would be able to get shutdown guidelines more clear-cut than what had partially been released earlier by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).