Gov’t told to check, look beyond Boracay

Published March 8, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Hannah L. Torregoza

Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday said the government should conduct an inventory of all tourism island destinations in the country to identify environmental and overcrowding issues and problems that the same can be promptly and adequately addressed.

Binay said that as far as she is concerned, the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) call for local and foreign tourists to try other island resort destinations in the Philippines in order to divert them from Boracay Island may pose problems in the future.

“I am also skeptical over the DOT’s move to encourage tourists to try out other island destinations as they plan to close Boracay island for rehabilitation. This may only aggravate the problem because other islands have no capability to accept big number of tourists,” Binay said during a press conference in the Senate.

Some island resort destinations such as Panglao in Bohol and El Nido in Palawan, are also experiencing waste disposal problems and other environmental issues, the senator pointed out.

“So let’s have an inventory of island destinations and check if they have deficiencies, then fix the facilities, before we encourage tourists to come to these places,” she said.

“What is happening in Boracay Island is actually an eye-opener for us,” added Binay.

She also said it is high-time local leaders, not only in Boracay, but other island destinations, as well, to consider regulating tourist arrivals to prevent the place from early degradation.