Press Release
April 5, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has urged authorities to ensure that the thousands of workers who will be affected by the six-month closure of Boracay will have access to the employment assistance program of the government.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has announced that President Rodrigo Duterte approved during Wednesday's Cabinet meeting the recommendation of the interior, environment, and tourism departments to fully close Boracay for six months to give way to its rehabilitation.

Based on the data from the Boracay Foundation, some 19,000 people work in the formal sector including hotels, resorts, restaurants, dive shops, souvenir shops, tour activity centers, and transport providers; while another 17,000 work in the informal sector as massage therapists, tattoo artists, and vendors by the beach.

"Libu-libong pamilya ngayon ang nangangamba kung saan sila hahanap ng pagkakakitaan sa loob ng kalahating taon. Dapat ay aktibo ang local government unit at ang DOLE sa pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga maaapektuhang manggagawa," said Angara, vice chairman of the Senate labor committee.

The lawmaker stressed that the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should prioritize the affected Boracay workers.

The TUPAD program provides emergency employment and free skills training for workers who were laid off or terminated as a result of closure of an establishment and for self-employed individuals who have lost their livelihood.

Angara, vice chairman of the Senate finance committee who sponsored DOLE's budget, pointed out that the TUPAD program has P2.3 billion funding this year that can cover approximately 200,000 displaced workers.

Moreover, Angara has called on stakeholders to take advantage of the Green Jobs Law that incentivizes the creation of jobs that contribute substantially to the preservation and restoration of the environment and natural resources.

Under Republic Act 10771 that Angara sponsored, green jobs refer to jobs that help "protect ecosystems and biodiversity, and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution."

"Tiyak na ang rehabilitasyon ng Boracay ay magiging daan upang mas lumobo ang turismo sa bansa na siyang na lilikha ng dagdag trabaho at magpapalago pa sa ekonomiya ng bansa," Angara said.

The senator has filed a resolution to look into and intensify existing laws on environmental protection and rehabilitation so as to sustain the country's tourism growth while preserving the beauty of Philippine islands.

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