Close  

La Union claims ‘surfing capital of North’ tag

A surfer braves the waves of the Pacific Ocean at Baler town in Aurora province. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

SAN JUAN, LA UNION—This second class municipality about 282 kilometers north of Metro Manila is to be declared the “surfing capital of Northern Luzon,” according to a measure passed by the House of Representatives, but its impact on the town’s ecology now concerns some business leaders and environmental groups.

House Bill No. 6683 was approved on third and final reading on Dec. 11 and was transmitted to the Senate for its concurrence on Dec. 12.

ADVERTISEMENT

The proposed measure was authored by Abono Rep. Vini Nola Ortega, wife of Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III of the influential Ortega clan in La Union province.

The measure directs the Department of Tourism (DOT), in coordination with other government agencies, to prepare a tourism development plan within a year after the bill is enacted into law.

FEATURED STORIES

It also directs the DOT to allocate P100 million annually to implement the plan that would include “the construction, installation and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure that shall develop and promote the beaches and surfing activities of the province.”

The measure does not provide details as to how many surfers are drawn annually to the town’s beaches to ride the waves that occur from July to October, and November to March, citing only thousands of repeat visitors.

To a layman, the title, “surfing capital,” would sound good because it entitles San Juan to funds, said lawyer Reynaldo Dulay, former president of San Juan Resort, Restaurants and Hotels Association.

The waters of San Juan town in La Union province are perfect for beginning surfers. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“My only concern is the regulatory measure. When you expect people to come, you should also expect more garbage, traffic and so on … That would eventually destroy the environment,” said Dulay, a San Juan resort owner.

While other tourism stakeholders in San Juan may have been involved in the bill’s drafting, Dulay said he, as a private sector representative on tourism in the Ilocos regional development council, was not aware of the measure.

San Juan officials welcomed the measure should it become law. But they said they were also concerned about the impact of increased tourism on the town’s marine wildlife.

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: DoT, House, La Union, Ortega, surfing capital of North
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
opinion

Suspicious dilly-dallying

October 18, 2019 04:35 AM

opinion

Pacquiao as Malvar

October 18, 2019 04:30 AM

opinion

My ‘huan-na’ uncle

October 18, 2019 04:25 AM

opinion

Redirecting our agriculture

October 18, 2019 04:20 AM

opinion

A meat-free future?

October 18, 2019 04:15 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.