DILG seeks three-month closure of parts of El Nido
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sought on Friday the three-month closure of portions of El Nido in Palawan to rehabilitate the tourist spot.
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said in a text message that four outfalls — including three in Bacuit Bay and one in Corong-Corong — were recommended to be closed to tourists, while the remaining 20 islands in El Nido would not be affected.
He said the closure would still be subject to discussions of the El Nido Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Task Force composed of the DILG, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Tourism (DOT).
Based on a letter recommending the rehabilitation of El Nido, the DILG had asked the DENR to conduct an analysis of water quality in the tourist destination following reports of locals and tourists on poor water quality and algae prevalence in Bacuit Bay.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in letters addressed to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat that “it was found that Bacuit Bay and Corong-Corong Outfall are in a dreadful condition, with one outfall fecal coliform level reaching more than 3.4M MPN or 100 ML.”
“This is compounded by the presence of informal settler families, non-enforcement of easement regulations on outfalls, and unregulated dry-docking and mooring activities,” he said.
The proposed beautification of parts of El Nido follows the temporary closure of the Boracay Island in Aklan last year also due to rehabilitation.
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