Say No to the Total Closure of Boracay Island

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We say NO to the year long total closure of Boracay Island.

In response to the recent advice to the president regarding the total closure of Boracay Island for the period of 1 year for its rehabilitation, we urge the president and law makers to reject this recommendation in favor of seeking a fairer and more economically sustainable solution to the environmental issues facing Boracay.

Boracay is undeniably a Philippine institution that warrants protection and preservation. There is no doubt about that. However, the recommendation to halt business completely and across the board for 1 year, does not and can not justify the potentially permanent ramifications this closure will have on the local community, of which tens of thousands of Boracay's employees will be totally stripped of their income, and of which many large and small business owners may not be able to recover from. 56 billion pesos generated in revenue disappears, and with it, possibly the future of Boracay's local community and businesses.

To apply this closure indiscriminately, even to businesses that have long operated in an environmentally sustainable manner and in accordance with the laws, is tantamount to punishing the innocent for the sins of the few. Why even consider robbing thousands of individuals of their jobs, when it is those at the top who have neglected to do their job for all these years?

Likening this to the traffic issue in Manila, the recommendation to totally shut down Boracay is as absurd as recommending to close off the roads for an entire year to fix the issue. The entire Manila coming to a halt is obviously not a feasible solution, so why would it be feasible for Boracay Island?

The year long total closure of Boracay Island is not the solution.
We urge you, the officials involved, to go back to the drawing board, reflect, and try again. The people of Boracay deserve better.

We are not against the rehabilitation of this island. It is the manner in which the government offices are choosing to execute that intent that is thoughtless, negligent and wrong. The year long total closure to fix problems that have long existed is to take the easy route, and once it is taken, there may be no going back. Like you, we want to ensure that there is a Boracay for years to come, however many of the businesses and employees will not be around for those years to come if you choose to follow through with this closure. 

Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Action towards environmental sustainability should itself be sustainable. President Duterte, Secretary Teo, Secretary Cimatu and Local Government Officer-In-Charge Año, please consider that.