Duterte to allocate P2 billion worth of calamity funds to Boracay displaced workers

The Duterte administration is allocating P2 billion worth of calamity fund to provide assistance to displaced workers affected due to closure of Boracay island for 6 months.

The announcement was made by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday, noting that Boracay will be placed under state of calamity to enable the release of the appropriate funds for the workers only, not including the owners of the businesses in the island.

Roque shared that the president made it clear to only give the money to the workers, not the owners.
 “There will be a declaration of a state of calamity, but the President was insistent that the funds that will be spent will go only to the workers who will be displaced. He will not let any resort owner benefit from any sort of a calamity fund,” Roque said in press briefing.

“There was a figure mentioned by the Secretary of Finance, and the amount mentioned was P2 billion for the displaced workers,” he said.

The allocated fund will be sourced from the calamity budget of the national government and the Department of Social and Welfare Department (DSWD).

President Duterte has recently signed the recommendation of an inter-agency task force to shut down the island of Boracay to tourists for the next six months and make necessary rehabilitation. The closure will begin on April 26.

The massive rehabilitation of the island will include dismantling of illegal structures and upgrading of sewage systems.

Meanwhile, Roque assured that not all 35,000 employees of Boracay would go jobless since they all don’t need to leave the island during the period of rehabilitation and alternative jobs would be available too.

“Siguro maiiba ang trabaho nila, pero magkakaroon pa rin sila ng trabaho sa dami ng dapat gawin sa Boracay. So you can imagine na, although there are 35,000 workers in Boracay, not all of them will be jobless. They will just have to change jobs for the time being,” Roque clarified.

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