MANILA -- Following issues in Boracay that prompted the government to close the island for six months, tourism stakeholders are expanding "One Boracay", a movement to protect the island, to other Philippine destinations to ensure that other tourist sites would not suffer Boracay's fate.

The private tourism sector has made available 4,000 wide-ranging jobs for those who will be displaced with Boracay’s closure on Thursday.

One Boracay, is composed of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA).

At present, the groups are in touch with their counterparts in some of the other prime tourism destinations in the country to forge partnership.

“There will be groups like the one we have for Boracay in other destinations that are under intense scrutiny or those that are being threatened to be closed by the government. We have One Boracay now. There will be One Bohol, One Puerto Galera, and One Palawan very soon,” TCP president Jose Clemente III said Monday.

For her part, PTAA president Marlene Dado Jante said they will exert efforts to avoid having other destinations suffer the same fate as Boracay.
Both Clemente and Jante expressed hope that in the future, the government would give them more time before arriving at a decision to be better prepared.

“We want the government, in the future, to first consult with all stakeholders and incorporate our ideas before executing any actions that will affect tourism destinations and the industry itself on multiple levels," Jante said.

"The government should understand that we are the ones on the ground and that we have a clear understanding on how the industry works,” she added.

The TCP, created under Republic Act No. 9593 or known as the Tourism Act of 2009, is mandated to act as the private sector consultative body to assist the government in the development, implementation, and coordination of Philippine tourism policy.

Meanwhile, the PTAA is the biggest grouping of tourism stakeholders in the country and has been a leading partner of the government in the promotion and development of Philippine tourism. The HSMA, on the other hand, seeks to advance sustainable revenue growth for the hotels and resorts industry and contribute to the robust growth of Philippine tourism.

One Boracay is offering 4,000 jobs to those who will be displaced with the closure of the island. The job openings are spread across key cities across the country, including Metro Manila, Bohol, and Palawan.

Jante said they will also request their more than 600 members nationwide to offer at least two job openings, even temporary, to those who will become unemployed due to Boracay’s closure.

“This will be on top of what we, as One Boracay, are offering. We want those workers to remain gainfully employed and capable of providing for their families until Boracay reopens,” Jante said.

Next month, members of One Boracay will map out a marketing plan for the reopening of Boracay, including multiple promos for November onwards. (PNA)