It’s official: No 'Bora' for 6 months starting April 26

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED April 5, 2018 11:45 am

(Inside Manila) After an anxious wait, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the total closure for 6 months of Boracay effective starting April 26, 2018, his spokesman announced.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President approved the recommendation of the interior, environment, and tourism departments to close Boracay for 6 months to give way to its rehabilitation during the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday, April 4.

It can be remembered that President Duterte had already said he was amenable to a 6-month closure of the island paradise, which he called a cesspool.

"I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool. You go into the water, it's smelly. Smell of what? S**t," he said. "There will be a time that no more foreigner will go there because he will have - when he goes back to the plane to where he belongs, he will be full of s**t going back and forth to the restroom."

In February, the President ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up the island in six months. 

Businesses and workers had been anxiously waiting for the government’s decision on Boracay, especially since the proposed April 26 shutdown comes before the annual Labor Day parties on the island, which attract thousands of tourists.

Part of the rehabilitation period will include going after government officials who could be held accountable for issuing permits to owners even in no-build zones.

The Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR) said it is now undergoing internal cleansing and may sue its people for graft and corruption.

Boracay is among the country's top 8 tourist destinations, according to the Department of Tourism.

Last year, around 3.72 million people flew to the island, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

READ: Here are 7 Boracay-like beaches for your next travel itinerary



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