El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

An inter-agency task force led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines is all set to replicate the ‘Boracay model of rehabilitation’ in Palawan province and other top tourist destinations in the country.

In a press conference, the environment secretary Roy Cimatu said the DENR, together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), is ready to go full-blast with the rehabilitation of other tourist spots — particularly Palawan’s El Nido and Coron.

“Efforts in Boracay are ongoing until December”

Cimatu, who heads the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of rehabilitating the world-famous island, commented: “As the rehabilitation efforts in Boracay are ongoing until December, we decided to continue the President’s mandate to check the other top tourist destinations in the country.”

The announcement was made following a closed-door meeting with the country’s DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año held at the DENR central office in Quezon City.

Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines
Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

The DENR chief promised that he will “dedicate a large portion of the DENR presence in Palawan” to focus on the rehabilitation of El Nido and Coron.

However, he clarified that El Nido and Coron will not be closed down to tourists just like what the government did to Boracay, which underwent a six-month rehabilitation before it was reopened last 26 October. Instead, only the establishments with violations will be shut down.

Aside from Palawan, the task force will also visit Panglao Island in Bohol and Siargao in Surigao del Norte next week.

“The last ecological frontier of the country”

Cimatu concluded: “We have to maintain Palawan as the last ecological frontier of the country.

“Since we have already started in Boracay, let’s continue these rehabilitation efforts for the sake of the Philippines and the Filipino people, so that they can have something to be proud of.”

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