Bo­ra­cay stake­hold­ers still in the dark as clo­sure nears

Business World - - THE NATION - — Teodoro Y. Mon­telibano

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).

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