Business group to gov't: Issue Boracay EO, declare state of calamity
AKLAN, Philippines – The Boracay Foundation, Incorporated (BFI) on Tuesday, April 24, called on the national government to "expedite" the declaration of a state of calamity in Boracay, as well as the issuance of the executive order – the legal basis of the island's 6-month closure.
"This EO will allow the quick release of funds and assistance to the thousands of people who will be directly affected by the closure on April 26," the BFI said in a statement.
The BFI added that they "only ask for things that have been promised, nothing more."
According to the group, some registered and informal workers as well as their families "up to this day are clueless due to the absence of clear guidelines and sufficient support for their future."
The BFI stressed that stakeholders and establishments have done their best to soften the impact of a 6-month closure on workers.
"We hope that rehabilitation work will be done efficiently to minimize the impact. We, however, can only do so much, as our hands are also tied," the BFI said.
The group added: "We, the BFI, commit to provide as much support as we can in these trying times. We look forward to the day when Boracay will once again open its shores to welcome tourists from afar to enjoy paradise."
Flights to Boracay
Meanwhile, Kalibo airport manager Efren Nagrama said 3 daytime daily flights for the Kalibo-Manila route will be serviced by the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia at Kalibo International Airport effective April 26.
All international flights from China, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were canceled due to the closure.
"Dati ang mga turista ng Boracay ay sa mga regional flights sa gabi. Ngayon dahil sa Boracay closure, wala tayong international flights," Nagrama stressed.
(Before, the tourists in Boracay arrive at night aboard regional flights. Now, because of the Boracay closure, we don't have international flights.)
Over 100 employees assigned in security, navigational, and fire fighting in the Kalibo airport are also affected by the closure.
Nagrama said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is studying options on how to maximize the working hours of affected employees.
"Hindi naman sila mawawalan ng trabaho. We will assign them in the maintenance of airport facilities and to train them sa tulong ng TESDA at ibang government agencies," he added.
(They will not lose their jobs. We will assign them in the maintenance of airport facilities and to train them with the help of TESDA and other government agencies.) – Rappler.com