Gov't agencies reveal cost of Boracay rehabilitation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — The inter-agency task force in charge of Boracay's rehabilitation revealed Wednesday that it has proposed a ₱4.2 billion budget for the cleanup of the island.

In a press conference a day before the island's temporarily closure, the different departments each declared the amounts they were eyeing to spend on various aspects of the rehabilitation.

Island rehabilitation, construction budgets

For the Environment Department, Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said they are proposing about P29 million for restoring wetlands, caves, and other coastal resources.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, meanwhile, revealed her department has allocated ₱1.1 billion through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. This will be used for repairing the drainage system of the island destination.

The Tourism Department will also allot about ₱10 million for training workers of business establishments compliant with all regulations.

Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Roberto Bernardo said they are looking at an augmentation fund of about ₱500 million for the construction of a 5.2-kilometer road, which would include a drainage system, the sidewalks, and streetlights.

Cash assistance

While Malacañang has yet to issue an executive order or proclamation declaring Boracay in a state of calamity, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is gunning for a ₱2-billion fund to assist the locals and another ₱520 million for the informal workers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier pegged emergency employment assistance funds at P60 million.

READ: Interior Asec: Boracay businessmen 'scaring' locals

Bello also said the department will roll out an emergency employment program where 5,000 workers would be hired to assist in the cleanup of the island as well as some office work. Some 2,000 jobs will be given to members of the Ati tribe, he added.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, meanwhile, said his department will be offering two programs for the farmers and fisherfolk of Boracay.

First is the production loan with a ₱39-million budget, where farmers could borrow between ₱15,000 to ₱50,000. The second one is the Survival and Recovery Assistance program, where a farmer or fisherfolk family will be given ₱25,000 to be able to ride through days without income.

READ: DA: Boracay farmers, fisherfolk can loan by next week

Tourism Congress of the Philippines President Jojo Clemente said around 36,000 people may lose their jobs when Boracay closes.

READ: Businessmen appeal Boracay shutdown: 36,000 jobs at stake

The island welcomed over 2 million visitors in 2017 and generated P56 billion in estimated total revenues.

READ: Gov't to use calamity fund to help displaced Boracay workers

Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III earlier said the government may lose up to ₱20 billion in revenues if the six-month closure pushes through. The task force, however, has previously said Boracay's soft opening may happen in just three to four months.

The scramble to cleanup the world-famous tourist destination came after President Rodrigo Duterte called it "a cesspool," and threatened to shut it down permanently if its pollution problem went unsolved.