Environment and Natural Resources Chief Roy A. Cimatu ordered the agency’s regional directors to make an inventory of emerging tourism sites in their respective areas of jurisdictions and formulate management plans to avoid a similar problem akin to Boracay’s woes.
“I have instructed the regional directors to make an inventory of emerging tourist destinations in their areas and to craft management plans for them. We want to make sure that the problem in Boracay will not be repeated. We will make sure that there is proper sewerage treatment facilities in the tourist sites, the easement zones are followed and that there will be no encroaching in forestlands,” Cimatu said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force, comprised of the Departments of Environment, Tourism and the Interior and Local Government, had jointly recommended to Malacañang the total closure of Boracay for a maximum of one year effective one month after its declaration to give way to the implementation of restoration measures in the popular tourist destination.
“The revenue that tourists bring to a municipality is very significant especially if it is situated in a third class municipality. If they focus only on development of the tourist destination and the projected revenues and fail to comply with environmental laws, then we will have another problem in the future,” Cimatu warned.
Cimatu assured tourists that the government is doing everything to rehabilitate Boracay Island from the environmental damages it has incurred over the years. He said the DENR regional directors are working overtime to ensure that other tourist destinations will not suffer the same problems. Inspections on compliance to sewage treatment process among other requirements are now being done in tourist spots all over the country including El Nido in Palawan, Puerto Galera in Mindoro, Panglao in Bohol, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Aurora province and Cebu.
The DENR is also studying the impact of tourism on wildlife and marine resources in order to formulate restrictions in the interest of protecting their natural habitat. DENR RELEASE