DOT: PH tourist destinations coming forward to express interest in rehabilitation
MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said Friday many famous tourist destinations in the country are coming forward to express interest in rehabilitation.
“There are also a lot of other tourist destination na gusto nilang, i-rehabilitate sila, sila na mismo (they want rehabilitation),” Romulo-Puyat said in an interview with DZMM.
The tourism chief cited Siargao andCoron, Palawan as among those who are very particular with the environment and wants rehabilitation.
“Sa Sagada, there was a time yung maraming campers, di ka na makaikot ng Sagada. Yung mayor mismo dun, nag-text sa amin, yung text niya: Sagad na ang Sagada.”
(In Sagada, there was a time there were a lot of campers; you can’t go around. The mayor sent us a text message saying Sagada has problems.)
This comes a year after the government closed Boracay Island to tourists for rehabilitation when President Rodrigo Duterte said the famous tourist destination was like a “cesspool” amid various environmental problems hounding the island.
The government said that after rehabilitating Boracay, it will be looking into other tourist destinations as well.
The tourism chief said last November she visited Panglao in Bohol and El Nido in Palawan with Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
“We gave them (local government) six months,” Romulo-Puyat said.
“But sa tingin ko naman, nakita naman na na-close yung Boracay, sana naman, nakita naman nila yung nangyari sa Boracay, matauhan (But I think they saw what happened to Boracay. It should serve as a warning),” she added.
Drainage system in Boracay
Romulo-Puyat noted that the drainage system for the whole island is expected to be completed by December this year.
“Yung aming goal na matapos yung drainage system ng buong Boracay is December of this year…we needed one year and six months and hindi ko pinamadali, so far we are on track (That is our goal, to finish the drainage system in Boracay by December this year. We needed one year and six months and we didn’t rush it. So far, we are on track),” she said.
First anniversary of Boracay closure
The tourism secretary said she is pleased with the compliance of establishments in Boracay with the 25+5-meter beachfront easement imposed by the government.
However, she noted that three establishments that failed to comply with the easement had started to demolish their structures. /ee