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DOT makes sure Siargao will not go the way of Boracay

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By Antonio L. Colina IV

Davao City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) plans to put up sanitary landfills on Siargao, an emerging tourist destination located in Surigao del Norte, to address concerns related to solid waste disposal.

Tourism Undersecretary Katherine De Castro said in an interview that local residents of Siargao made the request for sanitary landfills to be established in their area as they only have open dumpsites where they would dispose of the wastes they have generated.

She said the provincial government said it want to comply with the environmental laws and regulations of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), so that they would not suffer the same fate as Boracay where President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently ordered the closure of erring establishments that contributed in polluting the sea.

She said DOT wants assist the provincial government to comply with environmental policies because it would cost local government much in the construction of sanitary landfills and the paving of roads.

De Castro said the provincial government has yet to submit the number of landfills needed on the island that would require a land area of 3.3 hectares.

She added they will focus on General Luna Municipality, which is popular for surfers because of the so-called “Cloud 9 Waves,” where many establishments are starting to sprout.

“We will collate reports we receive and come up with proper presentation to the President, and in next cabinet meeting in March, we will present the request of Siargao,” De Castro said.

She said they expect landfills will be put up before yearend.

A number of tourists are expected to come to Siargao, following the closure order of Duterte against establishments on Boracay Island where at least 57 establishments have been issued with notice of violations out of the 300 initially identified erring establishments, which comprise more than half of the 500 total establishments on Boracay.

“I have high hopes for Siargao because it has a bigger land area compared with Boracay,” she said.

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