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Siargao Island resorts not environmentally compliant

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By Mike U. Crismundo

Butuan City – A large number of resort owners is non-compliant with simple government policies, including environmental requirements in the world-class Siargao Island tourist destination in Surigao del Norte province.

In an initial finding by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), it was learned that majority of the business establishments in the acknowledged “Paradise Island” of Siargao are non-compliant with government laws, rules and regulations.

In General Luna town alone, the country’s surfing capital, only eight business establishments are accredited by the DOT out of 126.

This prompted Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas to form a task force to conduct an on-the-ground inspection and 24/7 monitoring.

“Preserving the island where I grew up must be strictly followed, its laws, rules and regulations must be strictly implemented and I want this beautiful island which is now globally acknowledged to be preserved and protected and all waste disposals must be properly addressed. A zero garbage and proper waste disposal policy should be strictly observed in this beautiful island,” stressed Matugas.

Last week, the regional office of the EMB 13 here already sent notices of violations to 96 tourism-related establishments in the island, particularly in General Luna town.

EMB 13 Regional Director Welson Trajeco said that some of the violations of these resorts or business establishments are non-compliance with environment certificates clearances (ECCs), no-permit to operate, and no proper water or waste disposals.

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