MANILA - As the government prepares to shut down Boracay for six months, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) on Tuesday reiterated its call for a three-phased rehabilitation of the island and for the government to hold a dialogue with stakeholders.
Instead of completely closing off Boracay, the group said the government should close off one of the island's three major entry points at a time.
PCCI identified these three entry points as the Cagban jetty port, Punta Bunga and Lapuz-Lapuz Beach.
"With these three possible entry and exit points, the idea is to only close one point of entry at a time to gradually restore the island in phases," PCCI said in a statement.
The group reiterated that a complete shutdown of Boracay would be bad for the island's businesses and the 17,000 direct employees in the travel and hospitality industry.
“Many establishments owe the banks hence without a revenue stream, they may not be able to handle their interest payments appropriately and the ripple effects would carry over to the overall financial, supply, and employment value chain,” said PCCI president Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco .
"While shutting down the island for at least six months appears to be the most practical option to urgently solve its current issues, we believe that it will create unnecessary disruption in many legitimate and law abiding micro and small businesses and job losses for thousands of local residents of Boracay,” Limjoco said.
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the six-month shutdown and rehabilitation of the island could no longer be put off.