Malay LGU assures aid for Boracay residents

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Boracay (CNN Philippines, April 7) - The municipality of Malay, Aklan is still working out details on how to determine who the native residents of Boracay are ahead of the island’s impending closure on March 26.

Rowen Aguirre, Malay’s executive assistant for Boracay affairs, told CNN Philippines Saturday they will be working double time in the coming days to come up with clear guidelines on residency in Boracay.

He said the island’s residents will be the government’s priority in giving financial aid during the closure, which may last for up to six months.

Ang preparation natin ay ‘di pa ganoon kalawak. In fact baka ang mangyari nito, photo finish ito. So in the next two weeks magca-cramming kami,” Aguirre said.

[Translation: "Our preparations are not yet extensive. We might end up making a 'photo finish.' So in the next two weeks, we're going to cram."]

As of 2017, Boracay had a population of 46,829. However, the Department of Interior and Local Government places its daytime population— which includes tourists and workers from other areas— at around 100,000.

Businessmen on the island have warned that as many as 36,000 workers may lose their jobs once it is closed off to tourists.

Aguirre said that while the retrenchment of workers may be inevitable for some businessmen, they should still follow labor laws with regard to the provision of separation pay.

“They will still have to make sure na kung ire-retrench nila yung workers nila, bibigyan nila ito ng kaukulang payment in the form of separation pay o kung ano man,” he said.

Aguirre said local officials will also meet in the next few days to decide on the type of identification card Boracay residents should present to enter the island during the shutdown. A “common ID” will eventually be issued to all residents whose identities have been verified.