Published: Saturday 07 April, 2018

Jason Magbanua Video on Boracay Closure will Make You Rethink Your Opinion

There are two sides to every issue and this is especially true in the impending closure of Boracay island. For the past month or so, we have been barraged by reports on why Boracay needs to be closed. Now, videographer Jason Magbanua presents the other side of the story – why Boracay should not be closed and the real people who are most affected by the closure.

Jason Magbanua Boracay

Maybe there’s another way… (Facebook screen grab/Jason Magbanua)

I am was one of thousands, if not millions, of Filipinos who are in favor of Boracay’s total closure to tourism. The island, once described as a paradise with its clean, clear waters and powdery white sand, was described by President Rodrigo Duterte as a ‘cesspool’. Raw sewage dumped into the sea, businesses encroaching into the beaches, forests and wetlands illegally converted into resorts and residential areas.

Now, the government has announced that the island would be closed to tourism for six months starting April 26 for a much-needed rehabilitation.

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But many of us failed to see what effect this will have on those who live and make a living in the island. Businesses will lose billions. Many may go bankrupt because, with no income, bank loans will go unpaid. And what about the other businesses relying on the islands tourism as well? Those not in Boracay by supply goods and services to establishments in Boracay?

People will lose jobs. An estimated 36,000 will be displaced. How will they and their families survive? How will they pay for their children’s tuition? Where will they get the funds to send home to sick parents and younger siblings still in school?

And when Boracay reopens, will these workers still have jobs to come back to? Or will businesses still have workers to rehire?

Jason Magbanua presented their plight in a video he produced where Boracay locals and stakeholders aired their sentiments on the impending closure.

“Breadwinner ako sa family ko, may pinapaaral din akong kapatid, mahirap po sa akin. Saan kami kukuha ng pangtustos,” said one employee.

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“Puro lang sila comment na ganito, ganyan, ‘Ipasara ninyo ang Boracay.’ Hindi nila alam kung ilang libong pamilya ang magugutom. Automatic ‘yun,” said another.

Maybe there’s another way. Maybe, government planners can think of a better way that will give the same result – a rehabilitated Boracay – but with lesser impact on people and jobs. Maybe, the people of Boracay can be given more time to prepare for a closure.

“When people are primed, when they know what’s going to happen, even the most bitter pill is easier to swallow. We know we’re going to have to stop at some point, but we need time to fix everything, time to readjust, time to look for other things to do also, di ba?” said Dr. Ma. Christina “Girlie” Teotico of the Metropolitan Doctors Medical Clinic.

WATCH: Jason Magbanua on the Impact of Boracay’s Closure