DOT eyes rehab in Siargao, Coron

The national government is pressing all effort for sustainable tourism industry in the Philippines, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday as she revealed that future rehabilitation exercises are seen in Siargao and Coron.

This as continuing activities in Manila Bay, Boracay, and two of the newest in Panglao, Bohol and El Nido, Palawan are on the works.

“We are rehabilitating Panglao, Bohol and El Nido, and soon in Siargao. We’re actually looking at Coron,” Puyat said reporters at the side of the refreshed tourism campaign relaunch in Manila.

Although this mimics the Boracay revamp, Romulo-Puyat said there would be no closing involving the destinations in line for cleanup as well as those currently undergoing rehabilitation.

“We went to Panglao last November and we actually gave them six months to follow the easement law and to follow environmental laws. In six months and they still do not comply then that’s what we’re going to discuss, what the next steps are,” she said.

“We hope that the mayors of Panglao and El Nido start complying. Why wait for the six months to end?” she added.

Last year, Boracay was closed to tourists for a six-month intensive rehabilitation to rid the beach of pollution and to fix its unregulated sewage system that has contributed to the island’s “cesspool” state in the past.

Since then, sustainable tourism has been the battle cry of the Department of Tourism in promoting the country’s destination and in rallying tourism stakeholders to do its part in balancing development and conservation.

In Boracay, the government has already reached the second phase of its rehabilitation which involves the repair of roads leading to the island’s timberland.

“Our next inter-agency task force meeting will be held on February 28 in Boracay so that we can personally see the developments,” Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said during the press conference.

News source: Philippine News Agency