Philippine island of Boracay closing 6 months due to sewage leak

Philippine island of Boracay closing 6 months due to sewage leak

Philippine island of Boracay closing 6 months due to sewage leak

A TOURIST island in the Philippines is to close for up to six months after president Rodrigo Duterte said the waters off its famed beaches had become a "cesspool".

The government said tourism businesses on the island would receive financial support for their losses.

Mr Duterte's government insists that closure is the only way to prevent the environmental degradation of a holiday resort that is drawing an increasing number of newly affluent tourists from China and other parts of Asia.

President Duterte is expected to place Boracay under a state of calamity to enable the release of the appropriate funds for affected small people during the rehabilitation period, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said. "Boracay is a cesspool".

Authorities added that some businesses were using the island's drainage system to send untreated sewage into its surrounding turquoise waters. Smell of what? Shit....

Domestic airlines offered customers full refunds or flights elsewhere, but said they would still operate a limited number of flights to Boracay's gateways, Caticlan and Kalibo, to serve residents, which number about 50,000.

Officials also said illegal structures located in forest lands and wet lands will be dismantled, protected areas will be rehabilitated and the island's transportation system will be improved.

Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and AirAsia Philippines said they would scale down services to the two airports from April 26 to October 25, and add more to other popular beach and dive destinations, including Cebu, Palawan and Bohol.

"Boracay will be relaunched".

The closure, which is shorter than the one-year shutdown recommended by the environment department, comes just a few weeks after the government gave Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. permission to build a $500 million casino and resort in Boracay.

In closing the island to visitors, Duterte, known for his no-nonsense style, was responding to numerous government inspections following his criticism in February of sanitary conditions on the island.

Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corp.

This, he said, would result in higher tourism revenues for the whole of Aklan province, more jobs for locals, and increased competitiveness of the Philippines as a tourist destination while also allowing for the decongestion of Boracay island.

Boracay is a top destination for local and foreign tourists and attracted almost two million visitors and over a billion dollars in revenue in 2017, Reuters reported.

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