FILE – Tourists takes photographs along local sailboats on the island of Boracay, central Philippines, Jan. 18, 2016.
The possible closure of a major coastal tourism magnet in the Philippines for environmental cleanup will hurt business, but for a cause that helps everyone longer term, experts say.
President Rodrigo Duterte said via the presidential website in March he would place Boracay Island under a “state of calamity.” The island may be shut down for two to 12 months, Philippine media reports say, citing other statements from Duterte and cabinet members.
The government is “addressing wastewater issues through an improved sewerage system,” the country’s environment minister Roy Cimatu said in a March 27 statement.
Boracay, a 10.3-square-kilometer feature in the central Philippines, has been compared to Bali and other Asian beach resort hot spots. Its main white sand beach runs four kilometers, paralleled by a strip of at least 100 hotels.