File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler
AKLAN, Philippines – Even without a publicized written order from President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines on Thursday, April 26, officially closed the world-famous island of Boracay for a 6-month rehabilitation period.
The President "verbally" ordered the island's closure, saying Boracay has become a "cesspool." (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Duterte decided on Boracay closure)
Without presenting a master plan for Boracay's rehabilitation, Duterte approved the recommendation of the environment, interior, and tourism departments to close Boracay to tourists for a maximum of 6 months.
Boracay's rehabilitation is set to proceed starting Thursday, with government agencies using regular budgets.
Malacañang had earlier downplayed the seemingly last-minute issuance of the written orders, saying the public didn't need the documents to know about and prepare for the closure.
Malacañang, however, insists the closure is the only way to once and for all solve Boracay's environmental issues. – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com