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Duterte orders 6-month closure of Boracay

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During a Cabinet meeting, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told to reporters on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay, a world-famous tourist destination, for 6 months, starting on April 26. The recommendation to close Boracay from tourists for 6 months – or until October – came from the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Duterte announced his intention to “close” Boracay last February 10, angered by environmental violations by commercial establishments that he thinks turned the popular tourist destination into a “cesspool.” This could mean non-residents would be physically barred from entering the island. But the Department of Trade and Industry had suggested implementing the closure in phases. Boracay stakeholders had said that closing the island for a year would take away the jobs of 36,000 people and would mean foregone revenues of P56 billion. The National Economic and Development Authority, however, said a 6-month closure of the tourist area would have minimal impact on the economy. 

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