MANILA - The temporary closure of Boracay island will not result to massive job cuts, Tourism Sec. Wanda Teo said Friday, after businessmen on the island warned that as many as 36,000 workers could be displaced.
Teo said "many" big hotels were in favor of the closure and would use the lull in tourist arrivals to refurbish their facilities.
"They said they will not lay off workers. They will still rehabilitate the hotels, clean the hotels," Teo told DZMM.
The government will also hire locals to help with the clean-up of the island.
"Marami rin namang kukuning tao... so siguro maliit na lang ang maiiwan na walang trabaho," sh said.
(We will hire a lot of people so maybe, only a few will lose their jobs.)
The Department of Social Welfare and Development "will come in" to extend assistance to workers who will be displaced, she said.
The recommended date and duration of closure of Boracay has been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, Teo said.
"We are just waiting for his announcement," she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte flagged pollution in the island in February, describing it as a "cesspool." This prompted a clean-up effort, inspections of other popular beach destinations and tourist spots.