'Cesspool' island closes for six months

Workers Protection Human Resources and Internal Auditing Services Cluster at the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait City

Workers Protection Human Resources and Internal Auditing Services Cluster at the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait City

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the shutdown of Boracay island from April 26 after fears it is becoming tainted by dumped sewage.

He said they don't have to leave the island since alternative jobs would be available during the rehabilitation period.

Densing warned the local government officials of Malay in Aklan of possible cases if they issued local permits without clearance from the DENR.

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

The Philippines announced on Thursday it would "totally close down" the popular tourist island of Boracay for six months to clean it up.

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"We fully support the government's intention to make Boracay fully safe and environmentally friendly", said Jaime Bautista, the airline's president.

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. "I really feel for the people in Boracay", he added.

Affected Cebu Pacific flights are Manila-Caticlan-Manila, Cebu-Caticlan-Manila, Caticlan-Clark-Caticlan, Manila-Kalibo-Manila, Cebu-Kalibo-Cebu, Clark-Kalibo-Clark and Kalibo-Incheon-Kalibo.

"The tour guides have already complained that they have no more guests".

It will expand flights to other tourist and provincial destinations in the Philippines, it said in a statement.

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Karl Chusuey, vice president for marketing at Henann Group, which operates one of Boracay's largest resorts, said it was receiving cancellations, which "were as expected".

Ang stressed all concerned sectors, including government, businesses, developers, and its residents, must also look beyond the island and move to disperse tourism to nearby municipalities such as Caticlan and Nabas.

Philippine tourism stakeholders had previously warned that closing Boracay would damage the whole of the country's tourism. Sustainable development is of critical concern, and we are one with the laudable goal to revert the island to a balanced eco-tourism paradise.

Located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay, Boracay's white sand, lively nightlife and abundant water sports are a constant draw for visitors. But its appeal has been overshadowed lately by inadequate sewage treatment and pollution.

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