Palace asks agencies to submit ‘more detailed memo’ on Boracay shut down
Malacañang has directed the three agencies tasked on the Boracay island clean-up to come up with a more detailed memorandum than a “two-paragraph letter of recommendation,” and re-submit it for President Rodrigo Duterte’s consideration.
During Monday’s press briefing, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra revealed that the joint memorandum of the three departments was a “short letter with [a] very short content,” recommending the closure of the island for six months starting April 26.
Last month, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Tourism (DOT) wants a six-month closure of Boracay to allow for its clean up and rehabilitation.
“The Office of the President through the Executive Secretary’s office have requested the three agencies to submit a more detailed memo on the justification or [if] there is any qualification at all to their recommendation,” Guevarra said.
“I think (the) two-paragraph letter of recommendation… it would appear to be a total ban as recommended. That’s why we are asking for, you know, some qualifications if there are any,” he also said.
He stressed that Mr. Duterte had to consider not just the environmental issues surrounding Boracay but also the people’s livelihood and businesses in the world-famous tourist destination.
Guevarra also noted the recommendation was not yet final and Duterte would have the “last say” on the closure’s date and timeframe.
He further revealed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had submitted a separate memorandum urging the administration to do the closure in phases because of its huge effect on businesses and livelihood in the area.
Businessmen and other stakeholders had expressed concern on the island’s closure, noting that it would imperil the livelihood of thousands of workers and business owners.
Moreover, Guevarra said the proposed construction of a casino in Boracay is not inconsistent with the administration’s plan to clean up the island resort.
“We are just looking at several months to clean up the main island. So that is not really inconsistent, come to think of it,” he pointed out.
Guevarra said the local government should be at the forefront of monitoring the compliance of business establishments to existing rules and regulations.
“More than the regulatory agencies themselves, who may or may not have representatives in various areas of the country, I think it’s the local government unit who should be in the forefront of monitoring compliance,” he explained. /kga