MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Friday recommended the closure of 4 barangays in El Nido, Palawan where waters have been contaminated with human waste.
The closure of these barangays -- 3 fronting in Bacuit Bay and the fourth covering Corong-Corong Beach -- would mean a ban on water activities and swimming, said Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III.
The algae in Bacuit Bay is worse than that of Boracay Island, before it was shuttered for a 6-month rehabilitation last year, he told reporters.
The El Nido estero, meanwhile, recorded a fecal coliform level of 3.4 million most probable number per 100 milligrams of water, way higher than the 100-MPN safe level for swimming, Densing said.
Human feces, he said, was floating in the creek.
El Nido's proposed partial closure needs the approval of the tourism and environment departments, which together with the interior department earlier gave the local government 6 months to rehabilitate the island, said Densing.
Located at the northern tip of Palawan, El Nido is one of the Philippines' top tourist destinations, luring around 200,000 tourists last year.
Report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News