EDITORIAL – For a better Boracay
An estimated 36,000 people will lose their jobs and livelihoods for at least six months. Opinion is divided on the wisdom of shutting down a tourist spot that has been consistently voted as one of the world’s best island destinations by global travelers. But the Chief Executive has assessed the situation and made his decision, apparently seeing an island that has become a victim of its own success.
The coming months will show if the drastic move will bear the promised fruits, or if there is basis for concerns about some hidden agenda. This rehabilitation will be closely scrutinized, and not just by the stakeholders. In shuttering and even tearing down certain establishments, the government must show that there is solid basis for its actions, and that these are not meant to allow the current power elite to profit personally or gain control of the island.
There are other popular resort destinations in this country, which also have sewage problems and are more polluted than Boracay. Will they also face closure? Before that happens, they should learn their lesson from Boracay and initiate their own cleanup and compliance with environmental regulations. Other travel spots must not go the way of Boracay.
More than half of the country’s foreign visitors last year had Boracay in their itinerary. Tourism officials should exert effort to divert visitors affected by the shutdown to other resort destinations in the country such as those in Palawan. At the same time, the government must work with local government units and tourism players in developing other destinations.
With its impending shutdown, 700,000 bookings in Boracay have been canceled so far. The estimated losses to private business have been placed at P30 billion, with the government also losing approximately P20 billion in various types of revenues. This shutdown better be worth it. A better Boracay must emerge, and must be sustained The Philippine Star) – April 6, 2018 – 12:00am
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:
7.1. Going for the jugular for peace – The Daily Tribune
7.2 Manual recount of votes underway – The Manila Bulletin
7.3. Irresponsible NFA – The Manila Standard
7.5. PNP playing hide and seek – The Philippine Daily Inquirer
8.1. Singapore in a time of rising risks – For The Straits Times
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post