tourism hotspots-web“Let us not wait until it is too late.”


This was Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s appeal as he urged tourism hotspots nationwide to plan for their sewerage and septage systems in a bid to avoid these destinations from suffering the fate of Boracay.


“We need to put in the investment in the sewage systems of these places now while we still can so that these places can avoid the problems facing Boracay today. It is better to build sewage treatment facilities now than face a catastrophe later,” Cimatu said.


For the longest time, Boracay has been hounded by the problem of businesses and residents discharging waste water, including untreated sewage, into open bodies of water, which eventually reaches the sea. Ideally, the waste water from houses and establishments should be channeled to a sewage treatment plant to be cleaned before being released.


Cimatu explained that under the National Septage and Sewerage Management Plan, cities and first-class municipalities can avail of a 50 percent grant from the national government to help build their sewerage systems. He urged these local governments to take advantage of the government grant immediately.


“The grant is there, but there are no takers because there are no benefits for them,” Cimatu said. “We must keep in mind that we are doing this for the environment, and for the benefit of the people!”


Meanwhile, many tourism hotspots nationwide are neither in cities nor in first class municipalities. In these cases, the secretary said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is willing to help them in this matter.


“We really need to think of how we can help these local government units build their own septic and sewerage systems, instead of relying on the local water suppliers to do this, which might pass the construction costs on to the people’s water bills,” he said.


Tourist attractions, such as some municipalities along the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape region and several municipalities in Palawan are examples of places that might need help with their sewerage systems.


In the case of Boracay, the DENR estimated that around 17.5 million liters of waste water is generated in the island every day. Of this volume, only about half is treated properly, while the other half is discharged untreated. About 30 to 40 percent of the untreated waste water comes from private homes, while the rest is said to come from business establishments.

Boracay has two sewage treatment plants, but it is not yet enough to cover the entire island. Cimatu earlier said that 834 out of some 2,600 businesses in the island have been identified as discharging wastewater without proper treatment.


The DENR mission team has already started its work to rehabilitate Boracay. The team has been divided into six groups and is surveying different areas of the island, looking for violations such as missing environmental compliance certificates and failure to connect to the sewage treatment plants.


“We are doing a saturation drive of all establishments this week. The aim is to plug the biggest leaks and to find out where the untreated water comes from,” Cimatu said.


And while Boracay is facing the challenge of cleaning up waste water, the secretary noted that the island’s sewerage management could be a model for other tourist hotspots. The island’s water concessionaire, Boracay Island Water Corporation (BIWC), is a partnership between the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and Ayala Corporation’s Manila Water Company. BIWC runs the two sewage treatment plants in the island, and are building a third one.


“Boracay is actually ahead of the curve when it comes to sewage treatment, but the challenge now is to ensure that the entire island is connected to it. Hopefully we can do that by 2020 or 2022,” Cimatu said.   #####





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  • Cuatro Islas tourists limited to 500 a day

    Thursday, August 02, 2018

    Tourists visiting the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape (CIPLS) in Hindang and Inopacan, Leyte is limited to five hundred (500) per day. This is the reminder posed by the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) 8 as influx of tourists to the four scenic islets of Apid, Digyo, Himokilan, and Mahaba increases this summer. Said carrying capacity limit has been adopted by the CIPLS Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) from a study conducted by GIZ Protected Area Management Enhanceme…


Photo Releases

DENR 8 Regional Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo accepts the Chairmanship of Eastern Visayas’ Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC) for a three-year term from the Department of Tourism represented by its Officer-In-Charge, Ma. Trinidad Dacuycuy.

Scenic feature of the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape attract local and foreign tourists. To protect the area, the CIPLS PAMB limits its tourists to 500 per day.

Some of the retired key officials and employees of DENR pose for a picture with DENR Regional Director, Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo.

DENR personnel, BLGU officials, local residents, members of people’s organizations and the media witness the release of various species of birds into Mt. Nacolod.

DENR 8 Regional Director Crizaldy M. Barcelo (L) presents Certificates of Recognition to partners in law enforcement for their invaluable support and contributions to environmental law enforcement operations in Eastern Visayas.

Ms. Melba Ariño (center), Land Management Officer of DENR CENRO Pambujan receives award for extending invaluable assistance to the programs of 8ID PA from DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, Commander, 8ID.

CENR Officer Joselito Eco plant a tree seedling during the Arbor Day celebration of CENRO Ormoc in Barangay Soob, Albuera, Leyte wherein several participants from people's organization, local community and youth organization joined in the tree planting activity.

DENR 8’s ARD for Management Services Arturo N. Salazar presents Updates on Government Policy on Climate Change during the 2nd Regional Climate Change Conference conducted by PH Haiyan Cooperative in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission.

Mangrove forest and eco-park in Naungan, Ormoc City developed by the Naungan San Juan Mangrove Planters Association from what used to be a plain mudflat.

DENR 8 technical personnel record and monitor sightings of migratory birds in the wetlands of Eastern Visayas.

Residents of Brgy. Tagpuro join the mangrove tree planting activity spearheaded by the PH Haiyan Advocacy Cooperative.

Participants to the tree planting activity in celebration of National Women’s Month and International Day of Forest plant mangrove propagules in one of the most devatated areas in Tacloban City when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the region in November 2013.

The speaker urge participants to respect women, support their children, love their family and share what they learned to other people and advocate women’s rights during a lecture-forum on Anti-VAWC and Anti-Harassment in celebration of the National Women's Month.

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