MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will declare a state of calamity in Boracay due to the sorry state of the island paradise, one of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations.
The President said he arrived at this decision in consultation with Department of Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo Año.
The President said he also tasked Año to resolve the issues in six months. He also appealed to local businesses to help in the clean-up.
“Ang state of calamity, may component ’yan na pambigay talaga for those who are displaced financially. Para na ring kung ano, may bagyong dumaan, magbigay ka ng pera,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.
“In the meantime, if I were from Boracay or you guys there, the best thing for you to do is to cooperate with government and hasten the clean-up. For as long as there are s*** coming out of those pipes draining to the sea, I will never give you the time of the day na bumalik diyan.”
Duterte also warned courts against issuing a temporary restraining order against the steps government is taking, saying this might just “exacerbate the situation.”
The President recently described Boracay, famous for its long, wide beach and powder-like sand, as a “cesspool” due to the island’s dysfunctional sewerage system.
Several beachfront establishments have also been accused of violating easement rules.
Several government officials have recommended the temporary closure of Boracay to tourists to make way for its rehabilitation.