ILOILO CITY — Boracay residents and business operators welcome the six-month deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for the government to address problems plaguing the island, but some of them lamented his statement calling the country’s prime tourist destination a “cesspool.”
Some also hope that the President will not be true to his word to “close down” the island if the problems are not addressed when his deadline has lapsed.
“We welcome the deadline because there are real problems on the island,” a business operator, who requested not to be named, told Inquirer. “But calling the island a cesspool shows the President is probably misinformed of the nature and magnitude of the problems.”
“Does he even think what will happen to the thousands of workers and their families who earn a living here if the island is closed down?” the operator said.
In a speech at the Manila Times 7th Business Forum held at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City last Friday, Duterte lashed out at the trash and pollution on the island and threatened to have the 1,032-hectare island shut down.
“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool,” the President said, according to a transcript of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.