BORACAY, Malay–According to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), Assistant Sec. Jonji Gonzales, the Provincial Government, is held accountable for the slow recovery of the economy of Boracay.
In Gonzales's Facebook post, he said that the Provincial Government implemented the strict border control or locked down since it's easier to implement it, rather than instituting a community response.
"Part of the culprit, the province have not instituted community response either because it's more hard work and strict border control or lockdown are easier to implement," said Gonzales.
A culminating activity of the Visayas Vaccination Manual was held last Sunday in Boracay to implement a vaccination program in the Region of Visayas, where Gonzales visited; unfortunately, Governor Florencio Miraflores didn't show up in the said activity.
Due to the impact of the pandemic on the Island, the Local Government Units of Boracay and Business Sectors implores the Provincial Governor to meet with them to discuss the reopening of the economy, the COVID-19 response, and the community vaccination.
Last November 2020, Gonzales visited the province together with COVID-19 experts to help with the COVID-19 response on the Island; however, Gov. Miraflores declined to meet up with Gonzales.
It was discovered that from March 2020 until April 2021, that in the records, there were 11 cases of suicide in Boracay Island, while only one died due to COVID-19.
The Island lost P100 million revenues daily, since the pandemic began. Several hotels and resorts closed down.
The number of workforces of some of the hotels that reopened also went down. The Island appears as if it became a ghost town with crime cases are escalating.
"One hotel reduced workforce from 200 to 26. Most of their hotels and resorts are closed. The Island is like a ghost town. Criminality is rising."
Only a few tourists still visit Boracay, especially now with the implementation of the GCQ with heightened restriction in the NCR Plus regions, while for local tourists getting a negative RT-PCR test result is also unaffordable.
However, according to Gonzales, "It's not as if it can't be done."
He also praised the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo, and Guimaras as the tourism of Cebu continues to recover, and its hotels and resorts resume operations. Same with Bantayan and Camotes Islands, which local and domestic tourists are now visiting.
"As long as LGUs put up community response to catch covid in the barangays. As long as proper systems and processes are in place. As long as there's an (emergency operations center) EOC. Living with COVID is not impossible."
"Gising mga LGUs. (Wake up LGUs) You have a big part to play in beating COVID," Gonzales added.