The most popular beach in the Philippines is now closed, meaning hundreds of workers at hotels, at the beach and in the region had to go back home and start looking for other jobs. Boracay has been closed, as the waters have suffered from too many tourists and too much development. Police also had to guard the beach on the first day after they shut everything down, to make sure nobody remained on the premises.
One of the cooks working at a beachfront restaurant said that all of a sudden, they were all left without jobs: “Even though I don’t have my own family, I support my siblings. … We cannot do anything but to accept it.”
How Long Until They Open Boracay?
The island will remain closed for the next six months until all the sewage is contained and the waters are clean again. Work on cleaning the environment has started on Thursday when the police and residents started cleaning the seaweed on the beach. Construction of pipes also started, and the main road of the island is going to be wider. Along the construction sites, some structures had to be demolished.
About 17,000 employers worked in the establishments on the island, while other 10,000 – 20,000 benefit from the tourism business. But the workers received a travel allowance to go home, said a construction worker:
“I am thankful that the government gave us travel allowance, even if we do not have a job anymore,” said Jomar Incierto.
Most of The Establishments Didn’t Follow Environmental Regulations
Last year 2 million tourists visited the island, generating almost 1 billion USD in revenue. But the establishments, poor settlements, and neglected infrastructure turned the beautiful island in a “dead island” in less than 10 years. Many have built illegal structures in forests. There is also the issue of sewage, where less than half of the structures were connected to the main sewage plant. Others had septic tanks and some even discharged the sewage and waste in the sea, according to the statement given by the assistant secretary at the Department of Tourism, Frederick Alegre.
Alegre also said that some parts of the island could open earlier if the sewage treatment systems are built and beach resorts follow environmental regulations.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.