MANILA -- The government should "carefully study" plans to close El Nido and Coron in Palawan and hold dialogues with stakeholders, one of the country's largest business groups said Wednesday.
Local governments should also be "more proactive" in addressing issues on sewage and waste disposal even before the national leadership intervenes, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
Twenty-two establishments in El Nido will be shut, not entire town, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said earlier Wednesday. The scale will be unlike what happened in Boracay, wherein the entire island was closed for 6 months to give way to a massive cleanup.
Closing El Nido and Coron "will not be good for business" due to potential cancelled bookings and job losses, according to the PCCI, which has 35,000 members.
The PCCI said erring officials should also be charged or removed from service.
The number of visitors to El Nido reached 200,000 in 2017 and the figure was likely higher this year with the closure of Boracay. the PCCI said.