Duterte to support DILG decision on Boracay

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte says he will support whatever recommendation will be made by Interior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año regarding Boracay.

In his speech at the League of Municipalities general assembly Tuesday night, the President said Año told him that it may take about six months to fix the island.

It's unclear though, if Duterte has officially received Ano's formal recommendation on the matter.

"Si Año, sabi niya sa akin...Boracay he thinks will take a little bit longer. And I answered him. Sabi ko, 'General, nandiyan ka, I placed you there. Whatever is your decision, I will support you. Bahala ka. You just make the recommendation. And if I find everything that is alright and in consonance with the... Derecho na."

Duterte previously said he would put the island under a state of calamity to allow the quicker disbursement of funds needed to fix the island which he earlier called a "cesspool," and that local officials who refuse to cooperate could face charges.

He said, "Kung ayaw nila mag-cooperate and they begin to protest, eh kayo naman may kasalanan dyan, pati yung mga local officials…aarestuhin ko kayo lahat. If you put up a fight then I'll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino."

[Translation: If they don't want to cooperate and they begin to protest, well you're the one at fault in this, even the local officials...I will arrest all of you. If you put up a fight, then I'll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino.]

RELATED: Duterte: Officials who refuse to cooperate in Boracay rehab will be arrested

The Tourism Department sees the island shutting down between June and September to give way to a massive cleanup effort of the vacation hotspot that the President dubbed a "cesspool."

Tourism Undersecretary Ricky Alegre on Tuesday said the date range was recommended by tour operators and hotels because it was the lean season.

Just recently, the government tapped urban planner Jun Palafox to come up with an initial masterplan for the rehabilitation of Boracay island.

CNN Philippines correspondent Rex Remitio and multi-platform writer Regine Cabato contributed to this report.