NO TO BORACAY CLOSURE #DefendLivelihood #NoToCasino

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We, the undersigned, strongly deplore President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's arbitrary and heavy-handed order to close down Boracay Island for six months starting April 26, 2018.


As of now, no formal order on the closure of Boracay that details its basis for such has been issued. Also, no comprehensive rehabilitation plan has been presented. What we have right now is just the President's imperious verbal closure order.
Our voices one, we stand together to call for:


#NoToBoracayClosure! Considering that 20% of Philippines' tourism revenue lat year came from Boracay alone, closing it down for half a year has serious and devastating impact on the national economy and is essentially a form  of economic sabotage. In the local level, the closure of Boracay will also adversely affect Aklan as 45% of the provincial budget, which is earmarked for its health services, come from Boracay. Also, with the magnitude of the impact of the planned closure, a resulting humanitarian crisis is inevitable.


#DefendLivelihood! While we recognize the need for the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, it should be done not at the expense of thousands of workers and stakeholders and their families. Closing down Boracay will lead to economic dislocation due to the loss of jobs and livelihood opportunities of more than 36,000 workers and their families. This will also have a domino effect not only in the province of Aklan but also in the regional and national levels.

#NoToCasino! We firmly aver that rehabilitation should not be used as a smokescreen in order to pave the way for the grand entry of mega casino complexes in the island. The real reason behind the supposed rehabilitation of Boracay is not put in serious question as the construction of two major casinos is expected to commence in the coming months. Senator Richard Gordon confirmed that the closure of Boracay is a precondition set by the casinos. With the planned closure of Boracay, workers and small businesses suffer while large businesses like Galaxy are ushered in to dominate the island. The establishment of these big casino complexes, which will bring more filth to Boracay and further strain the precarious state of the island, runs counter to the government's rehabilitation and cleanup plans- a fact that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu himself admitted. Literally and figuratively, the kind of filth that casinos bring is not only detrimental to the environment but also to the social and moral fiber of society with the myriad of problems that casinos bring like drugs, money laundering, and prostitution.


We are calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to rescind his blanket closure order of the country's premier tourist destination. We also call on the national government to come up with a scientific and comprehensive rehabilitation plan for Boracay that will not result to massive economic dislocation after due consultation with all stakeholders.


We are also calling on to all concerned Filipinos and the international community to take a stand. Our separate individual voices may be small but, together, we ca make our collective voice resound all over the world.
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