In reaction to Boracay problem
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to conduct monitoring to all protected areas in the region promoted as tourist destinations.
This way, problems that forced the temporary closure of the world-famous Boracay Island could be avoided, DENR Regional Director Crizaldy Barcelo said.
The result of their monitoring would be disclosed during their scheduled May 3 meeting.
The DENR regional director, in particular, cited the case of the Cuatro Islas, which is a protected area but is now being promoted as a tourist attraction.
The four islets, located in between the towns of Hindang and Inopacan, both in Leyte, are inhabited by more than 1,000 people which could result to a possible environmental degradation.
“This is a matter of IEC (information education campaign).We need to inform the occupants on the existing laws, rules and regulations. On the part of the LGU, maybe they are not yet fully aware of the regulations in our protected areas,” Barcelo said.
Cuatro Islas is composed of Apid, Digyo and Mahaba in Inopacan town and Himokilan in Hindang town.
It was learned from Barcelo that a core shelter project is to be undertaken by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Apid which is in violation under the rules of Protected Area Management Board being a protected area.
“This is an opportune time to conduct series of IECs for them to be aware of what are the dos and don’ts in protected areas so that the mistakes that happened in Boracay will not be happening in their areas,” Barcelo added.
President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered for the closure of Boracay, describing it as a ‘cesspool’ due environmental problems.
The closure of the famed tourist attracted started on Thursday (April 26) as part of the campaign to rehabilitate it.
Barcelo said that close to 70,000 people are believed to be inhabiting various protected areas in the region.
The other protected areas are Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park, Lake Danao Natural Park, Samar Island Natural Park, Calbayog Pan-as Hayiban Protected Landscape, Guiuan Marine Protected Landscape and Seascape and the Biri Larosa Protected Landscape and Seascape.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)