No need to close Boracay during clean-up, says European biz group chief

June 08, 2018 News

MANILA - The government doesn't need to close down Boracay to clean it up, the president of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) said Friday. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned that he was willing to "close" Boracay if its waste water problems were not solved in six months.

But Guenter Taus, ECCP president, said six months will not be enough to fix Boracay's wastewater problem.

"I don't think six months will really solve anything because you can't put basic infrastructure in six months," Taus said on ANC's Market Edge. 

Taus said that the main problem in Boracay was the inadequacy of the sewer lines and pipes that are supposed to carry wastewater from establishments and households to the island's sewage treatment facility. 

While Boracay's sewage treatment plant could process the current amount of wastewater being produced on the island, there weren't enough sewer lines and pipes that connect homes and businesses to the plant. 

Taus, who also owns a small resort in in Boracay, also warned that closing Boracay would cause substantial losses for businesses and damage the island's image abroad by "sending the wrong signals." 

"You will lose all the tourists," Taus said. 

"So, in my opinion, do a clean-up, do it alongside while still operating the island, otherwise you start from scratch again."