Press Release
April 11, 2018


Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV filed on Wednesday Proposed Senate Resolution No. 705, to look into Duterte's Boracay master plan, including his rehabilitation, relocation and livelihood plans, on Boracay's closure, and further assess the readiness of government agencies in assisting the residents, workers and business establishments that will be affected by the impending six-month closure of the island.

Trillanes stated that: "Barely two weeks before the impending shutdown, the government has yet to present a blueprint on how it will rehabilitate the island and mitigate the impact of the said closure to its inhabitants. No clear plans and guidelines on how the government will handle the dislocation of workers and losses of business operators are in place."

Boracay, a 1,032-hectare paradise island attracted two million visitors last year and generated P56 billion in revenue. Closing it to tourists will result in P20 billion foregone revenue and will affect the livelihood of 73,522 residents, including 17,328 registered workers and 9,365 unregistered ones. Allowing only a three-week notice, many establishments and workers alike are scrambling and are clueless on how to go about months of joblessness.

The PSR 705 also seeks to investigate whether the Boracay closure is being made to favor certain groups or individuals.

It was reported that a $500 million casino entertainment complex is set to be built on the island, despite the government's moratorium on new casinos in the country.

"Mr. Duterte is clearly lying again in denying that he has knowledge on the construction of this casino in Boracay. His communications office released photos in December 2017, showing Macau gambling executives making courtesy call to Duterte to discuss the plans for casino construction. Even Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo admitted that this was the agenda during the courtesy call," Trillanes added.

"There is no debate that the Boracay island needs to be rehabilitated, but it is heartless for the Duterte administration to order the immediate closure of the island without the appropriate plans to help the affected people, especially if this mega-casino's construction in the island will push through," Trillanes further lamented.

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