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Legarda on Boracay Closure: Ensure Assistance to Affected Workers

April 5, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the government should provide assistance to workers who will be affected by the six-month closure of Boracay starting April 26 for the planned rehabilitation of the island.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should now start reaching out to workers who will be affected by the closure to see how the government can help them in terms of employment, particularly through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) Workers Program, which has a budget of Php2.3 Billion for 2018.

“We increased the funding for DOLE’s TUPAD Workers Program because it helps cushion the effects of unemployment, especially for laid-off or retrenched workers, as well as for self-employed workers whose livelihoods have been damaged by disasters and other crises, such as the impending temporary closure of Boracay,” Legarda said.

The Senator also said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) could also provide livelihood through its Cash-for-Work Program, especially if the President declares a state of calamity in Boracay.

“I hope that this is part of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) recovery plan for Boracay. It would be best to assess who among those who will be displaced can be hired as workers to carry out the rehabilitation plan,” said Legarda.

“The full cooperation of business establishment owners and residents of Boracay is also needed to hasten the recovery and reopening of the island. Let us resuscitate Boracay. The encroached wetlands may take time to recover that is why we need to act now. All environmental laws should be implemented strictly during and after the rehabilitation period so that we will not go back to this scenario again in the future,” she stressed.

“The temporary closure would affect many, that is why government intervention is needed. But when this is done, we will have a more lively and sustainable Boracay to be enjoyed by both local and foreign tourists, who must also be responsible in preserving one of the best islands in the world,” Legarda concluded.