W. Visayas growth plans review eyed

Published March 15, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City — Amid the crackdown of establishments with environmental infractions in Boracay Island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is calling for a review of development plans in other tourist destinations in Western Visayas.

“We want to avoid what happened in Boracay,” DENR Regional Director Jim Sampulna told Manila Bulletin.

One tourist destination DENR is monitoring is the island of Carles in northern Iloilo. Over the past five years, Carles’ Gigantes Islands have been gaining popularity for its pristine white beaches, caves and lagoon.

Carles is also where property developer Ayala Land Inc. is bringing back the tourism luster of Sicogon Island, which preceded Boracay as a popular beach destination not only in Western Visayas, but in the country.

Other tourism areas in Western Visayas that DENR is looking at are Bucari in Leon town, Iloilo; Mararison Island in Culasi town, Antique; and Lakawon Island in Cadiz, Negros Occidental. Social media contributed to the newfound popularity of these sites which have not been developed enough to handle the growing number of tourists.