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61 tourist sites affected by oil spill —DOT

At least 61 tourist sites were affected by the oil spill from the motor tanker that sank off Oriental Mindoro, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said, adding that the number could increase.

“Our regional offices have been in very close collaboration and coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Coast Guard as well as our local government unit and other relevant government agencies,” DOT Secretary Christina  Frasco said in Oscar Oida’s “24 Oras” report on Wednesday.

Despite the situation, DOT Mimaropa stressed that their region is still open for the public, even parts of Oriental Mindoro.

"We still have a lot of attractions in the area—and I would like to emphasize as well that the heart and soul of our tourism attraction in Mindoro is Puerto Galera, and we are still open for business,” said DOT Mimaropa regional director Zeny Cinco Pallugna.

Frasco also presented the tourism development plan for 2023 to 2028 during the Tourism Stakeholders National Summit.

It aims to make the Philippines a “tourism powerhouse” in Asia by promoting tourist attractions and adding more flights to these locations.

“Connectivity is one of the most important components to ensure that we truly open up the country to tourism that also includes the decongestion of our primary gateways and utilization of our secondary gateways,” Frasco said. — Richa Noriega/BM, GMA Integrated News