President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced on Tuesday, March 6, that he would place Boracay under a state of calamity.
“Ngayon, I know it work hardships and that is why I would be declaring a state of calamity,” he said in a speech during the oath taking of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) at Malacañan Palace.
The Chief Executive explained that placing the island under a state of calamity would allow the government to extend assistance to those who are displaced financially.
“Ang state of calamity may component ’yan na pambigay talaga for those who are displaced financially,” he said.
The President said he ordered Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año to put an end to Boracay’s problem in six months.
“Sabi ko na, ‘Sir, inutusan kita six months. Tapusin mo. ‘Yung hanap ka. Six months. Tapusin mo ‘yang problema sa Boracay,’” he said.
At the same time, Duterte urged the public to work together with the government in the clean-up of the island.
“In the meantime, if I were from Boracay or you guys there, the best thing for you to do is to cooperate with the government and hasten the cleanup,” he said.
The President explained that the problem in the island is an issue of public interest, public safety, and public health.
“So ‘yang tatlo na ‘yan I am invoking it and it is one of the — mga abugado dito, a mass function of… I can order for this thing to happen because it is of public interest, public safety and public health. Para malaman ninyo,” he said.
Duterte also warned the courts not to interfere by issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO).
“I would caution the courts not to interfere by issuing TRO because you would just exacerbate the situation and the worse, baka hindi kita paniwalaan,” he said.
Last month, the President described the island as a cesspool and has ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to clean up Boracay.
Meanwhile, the President said the deployment ban in Kuwait would remain until his conditions are met.
“Ang sabi ko, the ban stays until I meet the guys and talk,” he said.
He said employers should treat overseas Filipino workers well by allowing them to get enough sleep and food; should not confiscate their passports, and should not be sexually assaulted.
“Ngayon, ‘pag wala ‘yan, sorry. Umuwi kayo dito,” he said.
In a press conference in February, the President announced the deployment ban in Kuwait amid the deaths of domestic workers.
The PACC officials sworn in by the President were Dante Jimenez as chairman; Greco Belgica, Rickson Chiong, Gregorio Luis Contacto III as commissioners; and Eduardo Bringas as executive director. PND