Neda: Boracay closure to cut only 0.1% of GDP
While the impact of the looming temporary closure of the island paradise of Boracay on the economy would be very minimal, the government will put in place measures to minimize the losses to be inflicted on domestic tourism and employment, the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority said Tuesday.
“The overall picture we see is even if the ban extends to up to six months, at the macro level it’s not going to be significant—the most is something like 0.1 percent of GDP [gross domestic product],” Neda Director Reynaldo R. Cancio told reporters, referring to the estimated reduction in national output as a result of Boracay’s closure.
Neda Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Rosemarie G. Edillon nonetheless stressed that the government is ensuring that the welfare of small businesses in the locality as well as their workers will be protected.
“We do have a count already of how many would be affected, and for this, the LGUs [local government units] will also need to coordinate closely with the Department of Tourism for possible placement of these workers to the nearby establishments not affected by the closure. We’re also hoping that the closure would happen during the lean season so that it would not be the adverse effect,” Edillon said.
For the municipality of Malay in Aklan, where Boracay Island is located, Edillon said that the impact on local jobs and tourism could be “significant,” but it will be up for the LGU to put in place mitigating measures.
“I think it’s best that we leave it to the concerned authorities to say that there will be a contingency plan for them to provide social protection for those who will be affected,” she said.
“For now, at the macro level, it doesn’t have to be that bad. But, of course, the short-term impact could be significant, especially for Malay. And therefore, there has to be the proper timing and coordination in coming up with that contingency plan and other possible employment opportunities,” she added.
Also, Edillon said that “tourists who were intending to go to Boracay could be accommodated in the establishments outside of Boracay” to sustain tourist arrivals. /je