DOT to redevelop tourist spots

By Rose Carmelle Lacuata,

Posted at Apr 01 2014 07:10 PM | Updated as of Apr 02 2014 03:10 AM

MANILA - The Department of Tourism (DOT) has started redeveloping tourist spots in the country to promote sustainability.

In an interview on DZMM, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez explained that this project aims for sustainability and not to hamper the growth of business.

Without redevelopment, resort owners may lose their business in the future when tourists stop visiting because of poor conditions.

The agency has already started the redevelopment of Boracay Island. The government has required resort owners to remove their temporary sea walls to extend the beach front.

"Prototype ang Boracay. Ito ang model natin para sa gagawin natin sa iba pang lugar," Jimenez said.

He said they already visited other tourist spots such as El Nido and Puerto Galera to talk to the community and explain to them the importance of redevelopment.

"Yung mga nasa El Nido, pumunta sila sa Boracay at pinag-aralan kung ano ang ginawa ng community doon."

Jimenez believes that redevelopment will not be easy, but it is inevitable. In Puerto Galera, for example, residents may find it hard to accept that they would have to pay for proper sewage system once redevelopment pushes through.

"Kelangan mas pormal na ang sewage, magbabayad na ang resort owners."

The secretary also mentioned that they have already cancelled the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) permit of Boracay West Cove, the resort which became controversial in 2012 after the resort's owners built structures on rock formations.

The resort has also been operating without proper permits.

In 2012, the government tore down parts of the resort which encroached on a no-build zone set by the local government.

Jimenez said that mountain areas will also be included in the redevelopment plan.