The Philippines is ‘closing down’ its paradise island

Raw sewage is plaguing Boracay, but 17,000 people rely on tourism

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has decided to close down the country's famous holiday island Boracay for six months because, in his words, it's "Smelly. Smell of what? Sh*t." Harsh.

What it means: Boracay has 17,000 residents who live mainly off the profits from 2 million tourists landing on their shores every year. But a lack of government regulation means that pipes full of raw sewage flow through Boracay's businesses and into the no-longer-so-sparkling sea.

People had been asking the government for help fixing the problem, but instead they've decided to just shut it down – which kind of solves the problem, but also puts those 17,000 people's livelihoods at risk.

The government is providing 'calamity funds' to locals – basically a bit of money to tide them over while the clean-up is ongoing. But people are still incredibly nervous about losing their jobs, especially given there isn't a clear plan from the government about who's actually going to sort this sh*t out (literally) and how long it's going to take.

The thing is, the island only contributes 0.1 per cent to the country's   , i.e. the total value of all the goods and services it provides. So although for people on the island (and tourists wanting to travel there), this shutdown causes a whole lot of uncertainty, for Duterte it's a stain on their environmental record they'd rather not deal with for a little while.

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  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?