MANILA, Philippines – The Boracay inter-agency task force decided to extend the operation of its one-stop shop by two weeks to give businesses more time to comply with the requirements needed to continue operations.
The one-stop shop will now be open until September 7 instead of the initial August 25 deadline. (IN PHOTOS: Businesses 'dead' in Boracay)
"[The] Department of Tourism (DOT) will have the final approval with requirements," said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Thursday, August 23.
"We also call on the public to wait for the announcement on which compliant and accredited establishments will initially be allowed to operate by October 26 before they proceed with their own reservations," he added.
The one-stop shop allows businesses to secure requirements such as a mayor's permit, barangay clearance, building permits, Bureau of Internal Revenue annual registration, garbage fee, sanitary permit, real property tax clearance, Social Security System clearance, and occupancy permit. (READ: DENR suspends compliance certificates of Boracay businesses)
Businesses also have to get an environmental compliance certificate, certificate of non-coverage, and discharge permit for them to continue operations.
The extension is still quite far from what some stakeholders requested for. Boracay Foundation Incorporated appealed to Cimatu to extend the one-stop shop until October.
"Consistent with the ease of doing business law of President [Rodrigo] Duterte, it is only fitting that agencies in charge bring the services of the government closer to the people," the foundation said in a statement.
"Providing easy access to the inter-agency members will not only help the stakeholders, but will also help minimize the risks of corruption as the operations are very transparent."
Boracay Foundation also said businesses need more time and they are very willing to comply with requirements.
"Once the [one-stop shop] ceases to operate, all transactions will be conducted in Iloilo, 5 hours away on a normal day, but given the roadwork done over a significant portion of the road to Kalibo, travel time would be extended to 6 to 7 hours," the foundation said.
"Transacting in Iloilo is an additional cost physically and financially – transportation, food, and lodging – that businessmen simply cannot manage at this point." – Rappler.com