Baguio, other tourist sites also eyed for rehabilitation
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo considers it a 'good sign' that everyone is concerned about taking care of the environment after what happened to Boracay
IS BAGUIO NEXT? Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo says that other places such as Baguio are also being considered to be rehabilitated aside from Boracay and other beaches. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism said that aside from beaches like Boracay, they are also looking at the possibility of rehabilitating other tourism sites in the Philippines, including Baguio.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said during a press conference on Saturday, April 14 that Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has been going around the country to check on the status of the islands, especially the waste management systems of resorts.
"Secretary Cimatu has been going around the Philippines now. He first went to Panglao, and then he went to Pagudpud and other places like El Nido and Coron. He already saw the problems. So it's now being addressed by the LGUs (local government units) because they themselves are afraid that what happened to Boracay might happen to them," she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Teo considers it a "good sign" that everyone is concerned about taking care of the environment after what happened to Boracay. She called it a "wake-up call" for every tourist destination in the country.
"Of course, Baguio will also be considered as one of those to be rehabilitated. All tourist destinations, all of them [will also be considered], not just the beaches, but also the nature. So the DENR will focus on that because that's the work of DENR," she said.
Promoting other tourist destinations
With Boracay under rehabilitation for 6 months, Teo said they are concentrating on promoting other tourism sites in the country.
"I was in Siargao the other day for [a] fishing competition. We're promoting Siargao, of course Samal Island in Davao, Pagudpud is one. To be honest, there are so many destinations we can promote. In fact, I asked the regional offices, all directors to submit the list to us per region those destinations that we can promote while Boracay is closed," she said.
As for the recent concerns in Siargao, Teo said that she has personally talked to Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas, and that they have been addressing issues on waste management and medical equipment.
Siargao recently made headlines after broadcast journalist Karen Davila wrote about her son's surfing accident and the lack of medical equipment in the island. (READ: Surigao del Norte governor orders 24/7 medical assistance in Siargao)
The tourism department is also eyeing to promote other places such as Cebu, Coron, and Panglao. – Rappler.com