Boracay still open for tourists this Holy Week:Roque
Malacanang assured on Thursday Boracay Island is still open to the tourists this summer season, particularly during the Holy Week.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there was no directive yet from President Rodrigo Duterte as to when the famous tourist destination in Malay, Aklan would be closed.
"Right now, it’s status quo...proceed to Boracay, especially since its Holy Week. I don’t think any closure will happen during the peak, peak season of Boracay. We are looking at possibly, if the president finally accepts the recommendations, lean season," he said.
He said he has yet to check if the Boracay issue would be included in the Cabinet meeting scheduled on April 3.
The government has been planning to close Boracay from tourists to pave the way for its rehabilitation.
Duterte has described the island like a "cesspool."
Despite the massive rehabilitation to be undertaken, there is a plan to open two new casinos in Boracay.
"I don’t really know how the temporary closure will affect the casinos because they will have to construct. But what I do know is there’s a moratorium right now in place for any further improvements in Boracay," Roque said.
He warned developers their plans hinge on what Duterte would decide on the issue of Boracay.
Roque added once the moratorium is lifted, at the very least, all resorts should have their wastewater treatment facilities.
The interagency task force composed of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior and Local Government Officer in Charge Eduardo Ano and Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo has said it would propose to Duterte the closure of Boracay to tourists for one year from the declaration of state of calamity in the island.
Duterte has yet to place Boracay under the state of calamity. Celerina Monte/DMS