Gov’t to provide P2-B worth of calamity assistance to Boracay workers

The government will be allocating PhP 2-billion worth of calamity assistance to workers who will be affected by the six-month closure of Boracay, the Palace said.

President Rodrigo Duterte is slated to place Boracay under state of calamity to enable the release of the appropriate funds for displaced small people during the rehabilitation period, spokesman Harry Roque said.

“There will be a declaration of a state of calamity but the President was insistent that the funds that will be spent will go only to the workers who will be displaced. He will not let any resort owner benefit from any sort of a calamity fund,” Roque added.

“There was a figure mentioned by the Secretary of Finance, and the amount mentioned was PhP 2 billion for the displaced workers,” he noted.

The funds will possibly be sourced from the calamity budget of the national government and the concerned local government unit, Roque furthered.

Duterte recently approved the recommendation of an inter-agency task force to close Boracay to tourists for the next six months.

The temporary closure will begin on April 26 to allow the massive rehabilitation of the island, including dismantling of illegal structures, and improving sewage systems.

Roque also pointed out that not all of the 35,000 workers in Boracay will lose their jobs. He said they don’t have to leave the island because alternative jobs will be given during the rehabilitation period.

“Siguro maiiba ang trabaho nila, pero magkakaroon pa rin sila ng trabaho sa dami ng dapat gawin sa Boracay. So you can imagine na although there are 35,000 workers in Boracay, not all of them will be jobless. They will just have to change jobs for the time being,” he said.