Press Release
March 7, 2018

Koko supports Bora closure

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Wednesday declared his support for the plan of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo to temporarily close Boracay Island to tourists.

Año and Teo, together with Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu were ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to rehabilitate Boracay within six months.

"It is only logical to close Boracay for renovations, so to speak. We must carefully assess the damage to the local environment and take the necessary steps for cleanup. The process is more easily done and more effective if there are no tourists around", said Pimentel.

The proposal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) seeks to close down the world-famous island from June 1 to July 31.

Pimentel said, "I understand the difficulties of closing the island for two months, but it is only temporary. It will be good in the long run for all stakeholders, including the tourists who are there for the natural beauty of the island."

The Senate leader noted that closing tourist destinations to preserve them is nothing new, as Thailand closed Koh Tachai island in May 2016 for similar reasons.

Duterte called Boracay a "cesspool" for the environmental issues that it faces due to the influx of tourists and businesses into the area.

The Senate held an inquiry in the island on Friday to investigate these environmental concerns.

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