LESS than a month to go and resorts in El Nido, Palawan would face closure if they still fail to comply with the country's environmental laws, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday, May 6.
The resorts in El Nido were given six months, or until May 30, to comply with environmental laws, but only a few have fully complied.
“We have given them enough time to comply. We explained to them why and how they can comply with regulations. So far, they have failed to do so. They still have a whole month to shape up. After that they will face closure,” Año said.
He also warned that if local government units fail to impose the regulations, the national government will take over just like what happened on Boracay Island in Aklan.
“We already have existing protocols and best practices in place. All we need to do is determine if this action needs to be done,” he said.
Meanwhile, Año ordered the conduct of investigation on reports from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that several local government officials are blocking efforts of the government to clean top tourist destinations in the country.
He said he also supports the recommendation of DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to take over tourism sites across the country that have not complied with environmental and other laws similar to what was done in Boracay.
“The DILG will commence appropriate legal action based on the results of the investigation. We will not hesitate to exercise our power of general supervision over LGUs should they be found to be blocking or opposing the directives of the President to clean-up and rehabilitate our top tourist spots,” he said.
The government is also conducting a clean-up drive for the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay watershed.
The DILG said earlier it will file charges against over 1,000 local government officials for defying orders to strictly enforce environmental laws in their respective areas in the Manila Bay watershed. (SunStar Philippines)