El Nido, Palawan mayor Nieves Rosento on Wednesday assured the public that the quality of the waters in the famous tourist destination will improve in the next six months, as rehabilitation efforts continue.
"We have already the numbers of the establishments about to be closed for dumping their waste water in the esteros na binisita namin kanina," Rosento said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Prior to the press briefing, the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted an inspection around the town.
Saying that the local government has an existing water treatment facility, Mayor Rosento also claimed that he has created a task force that focuses on the rehabilitation of the tourist attractions of the town.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the experts are still studying the carrying capacity or the number of visitors that can be accommodated in El Nido.
She also assured local officials there will be no closure of El Nido, like what happened in Boracay.
At the briefing, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said that one of the challenges in rehabilitation efforts was land issues, especially in demarcating the easement zone, as some residents had been given land titles way back in the 1980s, before El Nido became a tourist destination.
National government officials at the briefing made assurances they will support the local government's efforts at conserving the El Nido environment.
On the other hand, Puyat said that the government will also pursue the rehabilitation of other famous tourist destinations including: Panglao Island in Bohol; Coron, Palawan; Siargao, Surigao del Norte, and Puerto Galera, Mindoro in the coming months. —Dona Magsino/LBG, GMA News