NEDA: PH to lose ₱1.96-B in revenue with Boracay's six-month closure

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — Boracay Island's closure and rehabilitation is set to cost the Philippine economy around ₱1.96 billion in six months, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Tuesday.

NEDA Chief Ernesto Pernia said this loss, however, would only affect the island and the nearby municipalities.

"The impact on the country as whole will be minimal," he told reporters. "It's only going to be noticeable in Region VI, in Boracay itself, in Malay Municipality and Aklan."

Region 6, according to government data, accounts for 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), with the bulk of its revenue coming from tourism services. The closure would result in a 0.1 percent deduction from the GDP, he added.

"The decrease in GDP amount will be around ₱980 million (each) for quarter two and three," Pernia said.  "But for the year as a whole, there's compensating increase in production and output in other areas of the Philippines. And overall, as far as the country is concerned, it's minimal reduction. We do not expect a need to reduce our GDP target of 7 to 8 percent  growth rate for 2018."

But the NEDA Chief said this is just a temporary shortfall in terms of tourism income and tourism arrivals.

"I would assume that closer to 70 to 75 percent of those who used to go to Boracay will go to the other tourist destinations," he said.

He said the closure of Boracay on April 26 has prompted government to step up on its plans to ramp up the country's economy.

"we are going to be motivated to work harder especially departments like, the Department of Tourism should really step up its effort to attract more tourists in the country to other destinations, as well you know as advertise these other destinations which are not well-known yet to tourists coming from other countries." he explained.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Lois Calderon and Digital Producer Chad de Guzman contributed to this report.