Malacañang yesterday defended the government’s decision to close top tourist destination Boracay after an economic manager cited it as one of the reasons for the slow economic growth in the second quarter.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the closure of Boracay was justified, noting that President Rodrigo Duterte did not just look at the Boracay issue from an economic perspective.
“The President stressed the need to protect the environment and to ensure that the next generations will also enjoy Boracay as we know it,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“He has given higher priority to the protection of the environment and he makes no apologies for it. If the GDP will further fall because of the desire of the President to protect the environment, so be it. We are investing in the future and not just the present.”
Gross domestic product grew 6 percent in the second quarter, from 6.8 percent in the first 3 months of the year. This snapped 10 straight quarters of at least 6.5 percent growth. Economists polled by Reuters predicted a 6.7-percent expansion.