MANILA The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will keep resorts in other tourist destinations, particularly in Cebu and Bohol, on the radar amid the closure of the island of Boracay on April 26, MalacaAang assured Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark following reports that Mactan Island in Cebu and Panglao Island in Bohol were said to be unsafe for swimming and water sports, according to the DENR's Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
The EMB earlier said that fecal coliform levels found in seawater in the two islands have exceeded their standard.
I'm almost certain that the DENR will also ensure that all the resorts are in compliance particularly with the rule that they should have their own waste water treatment facility. Otherwise, they should be attached to a sewerage system that has a water treatment facility, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Roque said Panglao will not experience the same fate as Boracay since it has its own waste water treatment facility.
Ang Panglao po, ang mabuting balita diyan, iyong waste water treatment nasa ilalim mismo ng bagong airport (The good news is that Panglao's waste water treatment is under its new airport), Roque said referring to the Panglao Island International Airport.
Hindi po magiging problema itong sa Panglao (Panglao won't experience the same problem) as soon as it is operational. But it's already in place; it's right under the new international airport of Panglao. So I think, the prospects for Panglao [are] rather good, he added.
Roque, however, said that he was not aware of a centralized water treatment facility in Mactan.
Despite the six-month closure of tourist-raking Boracay, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that the country could still meet the 7.4 million international tourist arrivals goal for this year.
"The target will still be the same. We will meet (the target), we will work on it," Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said in an interview with reporters Saturday.
Teo said that while Boracay is the first destination that comes into mind when talking about Philippine tourism, its temporary closure does not mean an end to the tourism industry.
DOT said it continues to push for new and underrated destinations in the country, and aims to further promote farm and faith tourism sectors
Aside from Cebu, Bohol and Palawan other beaches in Siargao, Samal and Pagudpud are also being considered as alternative beach destinations. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency