DILG tells non-residents to leave Boracay ahead of closure

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Boracay (CNN Philippines, April 6) — Non-local workers in Boracay should go home ahead of the island's mandatory closure on April 26, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

"Mahirap talaga (It's hard) but we have to do this. There is no other alternative but to save Boracay," said  Eduardo Año, DILG officer in charge.  "Otherwise, sabi ko nga (as I've said), it might become a Smokey Mountain with a beach.

Based on government data, there are around 17,000 informal workers in Boracay. It was not specified how many of these are locals of the island.

Año said the government will tap locals to fill the needed 10,000 jobs for the rehabilitation of the island. This is on top of the P2 billion calamity fund the government is set to release to assist the residents. He said only the people who come from and live on the island will qualify for financial aid.

As for affected businesses on the island, he said the owners can borrow from government banks to pay for their obligations.

Once Boracay is closed off to tourists, the government will demolish 948 structures illegally built on wetlands and forestlands. The sewerage system will also be fixed to make sure waste water is properly treated.

DILG added that swimming in the sea will be banned.