Government should attach a “performance target” to the six-month closure of Boracay “so there will be measurable outcome” of the island’s mandatory shutdown, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.
“What are the countable outputs after 6 months? Ilang kilometro ng sewer lines ang naayos? Gaano kalaki ang improvement sa water test results sa karagatan? Ilang illegal shoreline structures ang tinanggal? ” Recto asked.
“Such a master plan is needed,” according to the legislator, “so that at the end of six months, we will have a before and after comparison table.”
“Kailangan parang mayroong Waze. May guide map na susundan. Freelancing is a no-no. Ipinasara mo ang buong isla, pinagbakasyon mo libu-libong manggagawa, tapos sporadic ang rehabilitation?” the lawmaker stressed.
The senator from Batanagas warned of “a disaster if half of Boracay’s six-month forced vacation will be spent on the government’s favorite pastime: planning and visioning.” He said a plan is also needed to determine the funds required in Boracay’s rehabilitation.
“Under our budgeting, procurement, accounting and auditing rules, you cannot ask for a blank check, and then say that liquidation shall follow. The release of funds is based on a program of work, with the deliverables clearly identified,” he explained.
Recto said the government should also be open to the possibility of allowing compliant resorts to open even before the end of the six-month forced closure.
He also proposed that “environmental, building code violation, health fines” from erring resorts be imposed “so the collections can finance part of the rehabilitation or can be used for emergency financial assistance to affected workers.”
“Emergency employment programs should be extended to displaced workers. Kung mayroong infra works na gagawin, kung mayroong clean-up, kuhanin ang labor mula sa Boracay. Sila ang first priority. Huwag na mag-import mula sa kung saan-saan pa,” Recto concluded.