Boracay Task Force reveals conditions to meet island's soft opening by August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — The inter-agency task force mandated to rehabilitate Boracay revealed the conditions they must meet for the island to be opened before the end of the 6-month plan.

In a media briefing Tuesday, Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing listed the six criteria for the targeted soft opening of Boracay on August.

  1. The water discharge in the island should be compliant with the standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for 30 consecutive days starting July.
  2. There should be zero garbage in the island's sanitary landfill.
  3. The ongoing rehabilitation of the Bolabog drainage system should be completed.
  4. All structures that violate the 25 plus 5-meter easement rule should be dismantled
  5. At least three of the five wetlands should have been reclaimed and illegal structures demolished
  6. The road widening project to 12 meters plus a new drainage pipeline should have hit 70-percent completion rate.

Densing also appealed for everybody in the island to cooperate.

"Let us not resist. It is not to the interest of anybody from the government to the workers to the businessmen to continue the island to be closed for 6 months. That's why we are trying to fast-track everything," Densing said.

Several government agencies met with Boracay stakeholders Tuesday to discuss the government's plans for the island, its residents, and its workers.

Among the agencies present were the Departments of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Stakeholders, however, were dissatisfied with the presentation of the Labor Department.

During the presentation, the DOLE said they are still in the process of profiling workers. They did not, however, present the work options available for those who would be unemployed in the coming months.

"Nagprepare ba talaga sila? Di namin alam. Magulo. Magulo yung pag-present nila ng kanilang plano," said Boracay Foundation president Neneth Graf. "Confusion pa rin ang nafi-feel ng mga stakeholders sa Boracay after the presentation ng DOLE."

Densing said the target is for the Labor Department to be able to provide about 5,000 jobs, which would start on the April 26, the day of the island's closure. The jobs that will be offered are related to the clean-up and rehabilitation of Boracay.

He added Boracay locals will be prioritized and will be paid minimum wage. 15,000 more jobs are expected to be made available to Boracay workers after two weeks.