DOT starts looking into other tourist spots for rehab after Boracay
Following Boracay’s six-month closure for rehabilitation, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has started looking into other major tourist destinations for possible rehabilitation, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday.
Puyat said the government’s work in Boracay will be repeated in other tourist destinations, and President Rodrigo Duterte has already given the order to look into major tourist spots that need urgent rehabilitation.
“Hindi lamang Boracay iyong model for sustainable tourism namin, pilot lamang siya kaya inutusan na kami Presidente na tingnan lahat ng tourist destinations and make sure that all these tourist destinations are already following environmental laws,” Puyat told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
(It’s not just Boracay that will serve as a model for sustainable tourism. It’s only a pilot. The President has instructed us to look into all tourist destinations in the country and make sure that these areas are following environmental laws.)
Puyat said the government will be assessing the compliance of local government units (LGUs) and business establishments with environmental laws and will also look into the carrying capacity of the tourist destination.
She added that the DOT had sent letters to the LGUs of Panglao in Bohol, El Nido in Palawan, La Union, and other major tourist destinations including Siargao.
“Pinapaala namin sa mga mayors na sundan nila ang sarili nilang ordinances because lahat naman ito para naman pangalagaan ang ating kalikasan,” Puyat said.
(We are reminding mayors to follow their ordinances because all of that are meant to protect the environment.)
Puyat, however, noted that not all tourist destinations need to be closed for rehabilitation like Boracay. Only establishments who refuse to comply with the law will be ordered closed.
“Ang suggestion namin is isarado lang iyong mga pasaway at yung ayaw sumunod sa batas, kasi it would be unfair for those naman na sumusunod sa batas na isara ang buong tourist destination,” Puyat said.
(Our suggestion is to close those that do not follow the law because it would be unfair for those who abide by the law if the whole area is closed.) /ee
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