Other tourist areas in the country, like Boracay, need enough time to heal.
Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the healing process should at least take a month every year avoid a repeat of what happened to the world-famous Boracay, the country’s top tourist destination.
“Dapat ‘yung merong
rest time for the area like for example may one month a year na
resting time para magkaroon ng
natural healing,” Año told reporters after the Senate hearing on the proposed P223 billion budget of the department.
He said the agency has started inspecting other tourist spots in the country for possible rehabilitation, as ordered by the President.
[President Rodrigo Duterte] tignan na namin ‘yung ibang
tourist or resort areas in the Philippines. Ayaw niya na matulad du’n sa
Boracay,” he said.
Año said they are acting on several complaints on the environmental violations of different tourist areas.
“Maraming areas na nagre-report na may violation sa environmental laws sa ibang area so kailangan magpadala ng team,” he said.
Año said first on their list is the El Nido and Coron in Palawan and will check Panglao in Bohol, as well.
El Nido and Coron kasi mga
tourist spots natin ito na may
feedback na may naglalagay du’n ng
illegal sewer going to the sea kaya kailangang makita natin. Ang Panglao isa sa titignan natin
,” he said.
Establishments in El Nido, however, have already conducted clearing operations and demolished illegal structures.
“Nagko-conduct na rin sila ng demolition du’n but we have yet to assess and inspect El Nido kung talagang 100 percent compliant sila like what we did in Boracay,” he said.
“But there is already a good sign and I have a forthcoming meeting
with the mayor of El Nido, together with [Tourism] Secretary Berna Puyat. We will discuss what we will do with El Nido. Ganu’n din sa ibang areas, titignan natin,” he added.
He added that there is a possibility that establishments in El Nido will have to be closed if they are found violating environmental laws.
“Titignan natin. Kung talagang nakita natin ang violation, isasara natin. Depende sa affectation ng island o area. Kung kaya naman ng local government na isakatuparan ang pag-rehabilitate without closing e. Sa Boracay kasi hindi na talaga kaya na hindi isasara,” he said.
Año also lauded local government units in other tourist areas are now trying to resolve the issues on their own.
“Maganda nga ‘yung nangyaring ito dahil nakita na nagre-react ang local government units and officials, so sana tuloy-tuloy na ito,” he said.