Boracay closure to affect 35000 workers, cost P18B

Philippines approves six-month closure of Boracay from April

Philippines approves six-month closure of Boracay from April

Densing said the projected losses due to the closure are pushing the government to fast-track the island's rehabilitation, even as Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre said 6 months may not be enough for Boracay's full recovery.

Some couples who scheduled their weddings on the island up to a year or two in advance had cancelled their reservations even before the ban was announced, she said, with the tour agents also besieged with client calls on whether to pursue their planned trips.

Government officials in the coming months will inspect establishments for environmental compliance and upgrade of sewage and drainage systems.

"Let us agree on some fundamentals", Duterte said, adding that he was ready to spend money to "subsidise" the rebels.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he is willing to reopen peace talks with Maoist-led rebels, more than four months after breaking off intermittent negotiations.

"I am really in a quandary on how to handle six months (of closure)", budget hostel manager Manuel Raagas told AFP. "And the closure is necessary to ensure that Boracay will be there for the next generation".

The DoT and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said they have not received any application for the building of a $500-million casino by Macau's Galaxy Entertainment and Philippines' Leisure and Resorts World Corporation.

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The decision has prompted airlines to scale down their flights and hotels to prepare for cancellations of bookings.

PAL said it will affect 42 flights per week to Kalibo and 52 flights per week to Caticlan which equivalent to 5,000 to 7,000 passengers seats per week.

Mr Duterte approved the shutdown of Boracay from April 26 after discussions on how to help 17,000 displaced workers.

Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corp. "In the long-term, a safe and revitalized Boracay will benefit all stakeholders in the travel and tourism sectors, and the Filipino people as a whole".

Ang said SMC's proposal to build a toll bridge from Caticlan-to-Boracay will help solve the Island environmental woes and bring about growth to other areas in Aklan.

Duterte was furious about sewage problems stemming from inadequate treatment systems and unrestrained development of businesses, which in many cases were operating without permits. Sustainable development is of critical concern, and we are one with the laudable goal to revert the island to a balanced eco-tourism paradise.

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