Gov't eyes carrying capacity limit of major tourist sites

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 4, 2018, 8:57 pm

MANILA-- With the limited number of tourists entering Boracay Island, the national government is now planning to set a similar carrying capacity limit in other major tourist destinations in the Philippines, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat said on Thursday.

Romulo-Puyat relayed President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in a recent Cabinet meeting.

"He (Duterte) already instructed the DOT, the DENR, and the DILG to actually check the carrying capacity of all the major tourist destinations," she said in a live interview with MB Hot Seat.

In Boracay, the allowed tourist population is only 19,215 per day.

The three agencies are handling the rehabilitation projects in Boracay after the island was shut down for six months due to its environmental problems, particularly its poor sewerage system.

In terms of rehabilitation, Romulo-Puyat said the government's actions in the island will be "replicated" in other Philippine destinations.

"As mentioned in the State of the Nation Address and in our last Cabinet meeting, he already said that we have to look at other tourist destinations,” Romulo-Puyat said. “Personally, I have already written to El Nido, I am writing La Union, I am writing to Panglao. It's just writing, a reminder for the moment.”

Ahead of Boracay's soft opening on October 26, the inter-agency group announced the guidelines for tourists, business owners, and residents.

Romulo-Puyat said big parties such as the annual La Boracay every May, as well as gambling and casinos, will be banned in the island.

Among others, all local ordinance and environmental laws already in place will be strictly enforced, she added. (PNA)