Philippines Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat declared during a forum over Ocean protection in Cebu that the spectacular government’s move to rehabilitate Boracay Island might now be replicated in other tourist spots of the country including areas in Bohol and Palawan.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat, speaking at the OCEAN 18 Summit in Mactan resort area in Cebu, declared last Friday that the government’s rehabilitation of the world-famous Boracay Island, which was ordered closed for six months, is not the last. Boracay reopened to visitors at the end of October but its capacity is now tightly controlled by the government to avoid overcrowding and environmental damage.
“We assure you that our actions in Boracay would be replicated in all other tourist destinations needing rehabilitation. We will enjoin concerned government agencies and LGUs to strictly enforce relevant business and environmental laws,” the tourism secretary added.
“We have already evaluated the situation in El Nido, La Union, Coron, Panglao, Bohol and also we will be processing to the cleaning of Mactan on Cebu Island,” the State Secretary explained.
Last April, in a forum on Philippine coastal tourism, marine pollution, and the law, called “Trashing Paradise,” Eligio Ildefonso, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission, explained that El Nido in Palawan and Panglao in Bohol were among the tourist spots which may likely follow Boracay in terms of environmental problems.
Ildefonso said both El Nido and Panglao are known for their white sand beaches and clear and clean water. However, they are raising growing concern over water pollution and other environmental problems also faced by small towns with booming tourism. The two areas could be the next on the list of the rehab list of the Filipino government… The initiative is likely to alienate local business but it would at the same time show the strong commitment of the current Duterte administration towards environment’s protection in the Philippines.
(Source: the Philippines Star)