By TARA YAP
ILOILO CITY – Boracay will be declared under state of calamity within the week.
This was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Tuesday.
“It’s in the works,” Roque said at the working conference initiated by the Department of Tourism (DoT) with Boracay stakeholders.
Minus the declaration, the government cannot release the R2.3-billion emergency fund allocated for workers who will be displaced by the tourist spot’s impending closure on April 26.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the DoT initially announced they will declare the island under state of calamity upon their recommendation of its closure.
Many thought President Duterte would make the declaration last March 26, allowing all concerned at least one month preparation.
Meanwhile, the DoT has yet to finalize the guidelines for the coverage on the closure of Boracay.
An earlier proposal, which includes the screening of journalists covering the event and only for a limited time and with DoT escort, drew flak.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) cried foul deeming such measures “unconstitutional” and “illogical.”
But the DoT is seemingly not moved.
“It’s too soon. The media should not be reacting,” said DoT Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre, maintaining the guideline released over the weekend was merely a proposal.
But with only a week to go before the closure, many reporters are wondering if and when an actual workable guideline would materialize.
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