Tourism back in business in Palawan, Boracay
The tourism industry in Palawan and Aklan has bounced back from the destruction wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” nearly a month after the monster typhoon thumped the two provinces and other areas in the Visayas, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said yesterday.
“Definitely, the tourism industry in Palawan and Boracay is back in business,” Roxas said in a statement.
Along with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Roxas visited Puerto Princesa City in Palawan and the world-famous Boracay island in Aklan last week.
They also visited 13 other towns in Palawan to check on the situation and the needs of typhoon survivors. They then went back to Aklan before flying to Capiz and Iloilo.
Roxas said the two tourist destinations were not among the worst hit by Yolanda.
“We have met with tourism stakeholders and concerned government officials in Palawan and Boracay who have informed us that they are back in business despite some minor hitches,” Roxas said.
“I’m pleased that the tourism industry has recovered quickly… I admire the resiliency that the people of Palawan and Boracay showed in rebuilding their communities,” he said.
Roxas assured the resort operators and other stakeholders of the government’s support for the local tourism industry, underscoring the need to fast-track repairs of damaged infrastructures in time for the holiday season.
Roxas, vice-chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), also reminded the local government units (LGUs) in typhoon-ravaged areas to “build safer communities.”
Saying “Yolanda (is) the new normal,” the interior secretary said LGUs should review and update their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) and Comprehensive Development Plans (CDPs) to minimize the adverse effects of the climate change.
“We have learned an important lesson from this tragedy. Local governments should seriously consider the construction of safer communities,” Roxas said.
“We have no choice but to build safer communities. Every life is important. Time is of the essence. We have to do what we can to save lives.”
He said the review of CLUPs, CDPs and zoning ordinances would help LGUs “come up with a ‘build better’ plan guided by latest geological assessments that will minimize, if not totally prevent casualties, in times of natural disasters.”
Citing the Local Government Code of 1991, Roxas said local chief executives were mandated to prepare, revise and update the comprehensive land use plan of every province and municipality “which shall be enacted through a zoning ordinance.”
“CLUP is a planning document prepared by LGUs to rationalize the allocation and proper use of land resources. It projects public and private land uses in accordance with the future spatial organization of economic and social activities,” Roxas said.
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