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Duterte to declare state of calamity in Boracay

President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday that he would place Boracay under a state of calamity.

Duterte explained that placing the island under a state of calamity would allow the government to extend assistance to those who are displaced financially.

The President has ordered Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año to put an end to Boracay’s problem in six months.

Duterte then urged the public to work together with the government in the clean-up of the island.

“I know it would work, that is why I will be declaring a state of calamity,” Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission in Malacañang.

“In the meantime, if I were from Boracay or you guys there, the best thing for you to do is to cooperate with the government and hasten the cleanup,” he said.

According to Duterte, the problem is about public interest, public safety, and public health.

Duterte also warned the courts not to interfere by issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO).

“I would caution the courts not to interfere by issuing TRO because you would just exacerbate the situation and the worse, I won’t believe you,” he said.

Last month, the President described Boracay as a cesspool and ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up the island.

Earlier, Año said the DILG was considering the declaration of state of calamity over the island and a 60-day shutdown of commercial establishments.

This after he ordered an investigation into the possible liability of local government officials over the “environmental degradation” of the world-famous beach.

The investigation, Año said, would include local executives who issued building permits, occupancy permits and even business permits despite non-compliance with the law.

Data from the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office showed that from January to October 2017, Boracay was visited by a total of 1,669,751 tourists; 203,005 higher compared to last year’s figure during the same period with 1,466,796.

Foreign visitors for the first 10 months of 2017 reached 806,296; domestic tourists,  826,828; and overseas Filipinos, 36,627.

The 10-month tourist receipts totalled P46.5 billion, of P31.7 billion were earned from foreign and overseas Filipinos visitors while the P14.7 billion from domestic tourists.#