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Boracay closure impact sees Aklan province placed in state of calamity

Boracay will be a ghost town starting on Thursday.

BORACAY ISLAND, AKLAN — The provincial government of Aklan might issue a declaration placing the entire province under a state of calamity when the closure of Boracay Island takes effect on April 26.

The province-wide state of calamity would stem from the impact of the closure on Malay town where Boracay is located and the 16 other towns of Aklan.

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Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores said the provincial government was studying this option as they waited for a declaration of the national government that placed the villages of Balabag, Yapak and Manoc-Manoc under a state of calamity.

“We are studying it because it is not in the guidelines that we can declare (calamity situation for the province. We are waiting for the declaration of the national government,” Miraflores told the INQUIRER.

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The governor said the province was already feeling the brunt of the imminent closure of the island.

“Workers of Boracay come from the whole province and (many) businesses in Aklan are linked to (Boracay’s tourism industry,” the governor said.

With days before the closure of the island, suppliers of meat, vegetables and fruits had reported a 50-percent drop in orders because big hotels and restaurants in Boracay were not replenishing their food stock in anticipation of the island’s closure to tourists.

Transport operators were also badly hit and many owners who purchased van units under amortization would be forced to sell or give up the vehicles if the closure would last for several months, said Miraflores.

Government hospitals in the province were expected to incur a deficit of P240 million in six months as the bulk of its operational funds come from terminal fees paid by tourists at the Caticlan port on the mainland of Malay and the Cagban port in Boracay.

Miraflores said there would be no more hiring of hospital staff and procurement of supplies would be through consignment basis because of austerity measures.

He said the province would also seek assistance from the Department of Health for the operation of the hospitals.

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Miraflores said they wanted to fast-track the cleanup and rehabilitation of Boracay so the residents and business owners could return to their normal lives.

“Everyone should cooperate so we can shorten the closure,” he said. /lb

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TAGS: Aklan, Boracay closure, Florencio Miraflores, State of Calamity
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