EL NIDO, Palawan - Tourist haven El Nido failed a coliform test after at least 2 bodies of water in the resort town recorded high levels of fecal coliform, official data made public Wednesday showed.
The Cabigsing River and water from Barangay Buena Suerte both had a 1,300 most probable number (mpn) of fecal coliform, data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed.
The standard water quality for swimming is 400 mpn.
The local government expects coliform levels in the resort town to come down once officials dismantle establishments that failed to comply with environmental laws.
"We already have the number of establishments about to be closed for dumping their waste water [in] the esteros," El Nido town Mayor Nieves Cabunalda-Rosento told reporters.
"Water quality (is) expected to pass within 6 months," she said.
The national government launched an environmental crackdown in El Nido after it rehabilitated famed beach destination Boracay from April to October.
Boracay was closed to tourists for six months after President Rodrigo Duterte described its waters as "cesspools" because of sewage woes.
Coron in Palawan, Panglao in Bohol, Siargao in Surigao del Norte and Puerto Galera in Mindoro will undergo a similar environmental audit and clean-up, Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
- with a report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News