BAGUIO CITY – Local tourism industry stakeholders asserted that compliant businesses should not be made to suffer the consequences of the various violations of non-compliant establishments because they were able to heavily invest in strictly adhering to the prescribed standards of their operations which is being closely monitored by concerned government agencies and the local government.
Anthony de Leon, president of the 250-member Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) and manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), underscored that businessmen should be made to understand that in the conduct of their businesses, they should conform with the prescribed standards of their operations by making sure that they adhere to the stringent standards for the preservation and protection of the environment because they owe the success of their businesses on how they work with the state of the environment in their existing business sites.
He said that it is unfortunate that the violations of different business establishments on the standards of environmental preservation and protection are the ones being highlighted in a bid of some sectors to have Baguio City undergo the desired rehabilitation which negates the endeavor of a good number of responsible businesses to comply with the prescribed standards of preserving and protecting the city’s state of the environment.
“We continue to do our homework in making sure that we comply with whatever rules and regulations that are crafted to guarantee the sustainable preservation and protection of the city’s environment. We cannot understand why there are some businessmen who refuse to infuse additional investments to ensure their compliance to existing law, rules and regulations governing the preservation and protection of the environment,” de Leon stressed.
The HRAB official claimed that it will be the local tourism industry that will suffer the backlash of the desired rehabilitation of the city due to the blatant violations of some erring businessmen who refuse to adhere to the prescribed standards of their operations that is why concerned government agencies and the local government must start working on imposing the appropriate penalties to those that are found to continue violating environmental laws, rules and regulations to help in improving the city’s state of the environment.
According to him, the city’s private sector continues to be vibrant and bullish on the robust growth of the local tourism industry but there is a need for responsible businessmen to make sure that their business operations adhere to the prescribed standards of their operations and lessen the unabated dumping of waste to the environment.
He suggested that concerned government agencies and the local government must strengthen their inter-agency monitoring activities to the non-compliant business establishments so that their operations will be temporarily closed pending their compliance to the existing laws, rules and regulations governing the preservation and protection of the state of the city’s environment for the benefit of the present and future generations of inhabitants of the city.
He emphasized the need to preserve and protect the city’s environment because it is its natural pull for people to continue frequenting the city amidst efforts to ruin its image from the view of outsiders.
By Dexter A. See