DILG backs takeover of erring resorts
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año backed on Sunday a recommendation for national agencies to take over tourist sites found violating environmental laws, citing in particular noncompliant resorts in El Nido, Palawan, which have been given until May 30 to abide by government regulations or face shutdown.
Año revealed that a probe was also underway of local chief executives allegedly blocking government efforts to rehabilitate the country’s top beach destinations.
“We support the proposal of DOT (Department of Tourism). The campaign to restore, rehabilitate and preserve our natural wonders as well as the effort to ensure compliance with existing laws is always a team effort by all government agencies,” Año said in a statement on Sunday.
Comply or face closure
By national agencies, Año was referring to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the DOT.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had proposed the takeover by the national government of the country’s tourism destinations, like Boracay, that have not complied with environmental laws.
According to Año, he agrees with compelling resorts in El Nido, Palawan, to comply with government regulations.
“We have given them enough time to comply … So far, they have failed to do so. They still have a whole month to shape up, after that they will face closure,” he said.
He warned local government units to impose the regulations and revoke the permits of noncompliant establishments, otherwise the national government will take over.
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