The government is allocating P2 billion worth of calamity assistance to workers who will be displaced by the six-month closure of Boracay, Malacañang announced Thursday.
President Duterte is expected to place Boracay under state of calamity to enable the release of the appropriate funds for affected small people during the rehabilitation period, according to his spokesman Harry Roque.
“There will be a declaration of a state of calamity, but the President was insistent that the funds that will be spent will go only to the workers who will be displaced. He will not let any resort owner benefit from any sort of a calamity fund,” he said during a Palace press briefing.
“There was a figure mentioned by the Secretary of Finance, and the amount mentioned was P2 billion for the displaced workers,” he said.
The funds would likely be sourced from the calamity budget of the national government and the concerned local government unit, Roque said.
The President recently approved the recommendation of an inter-agency task force to shut down Boracay to tourists for the next six months. The temporary closure will begin on April 26 to allow the massive rehabilitation of the island, including dismantling of illegal structures, and upgrading sewage systems.
Roque assured that the not all of the 35,000 workers in Boracay would be jobless. He said they don’t have to leave the island since alternative jobs would be available during the rehabilitation period.
“Siguro maiiba ang trabaho nila, pero magkakaroon pa rin sila ng trabaho sa dami ng dapat gawin sa Boracay. So you can imagine na, although there are 35,000 workers in Boracay, not all of them will be jobless. They will just have to change jobs for the time being,” he said. (By Genalyn Kabiling, Manila Bulletin)