Ilocos Norte may be miles away from Boracay Island, but the Department of Tourism there wants proper waste management systems put in place in the region.
The DOT-1 regional office has asked local government units to undertake engineering intervention in managing wastes in coastal areas this early.
“Most wastes are disposed of in septic tanks and these are just temporary. So we need engineering intervention to make our resources cleaner and better,” said DOT-1 Director Martin Valera.
He stressed ensuring the sustainability of a place benefits not only the tourism industry, but also the community and the environment.
Valera made the call even if tourism beach areas in the region still have no issue with waste disposal such as in the case of Boracay Island.
Boracay will be closed starting April 26 for environmental repair.
Valera noted the DOT-1’s recent monitoring showed the water in the region is still suitable for swimming.
Ilocos region recorded more than two million overnight tourists in 2017.
“We cannot isolate tourism from community since what is good for the locals should also be good for the tourists. So think of the locals and the next generation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Valera encouraged tourists to consider white sand beaches in Ilocos.
“We have white sand beaches. Also we are very near Manila, just four hours away and we have coastal areas over a thousand kilometers from Infanta, Pangasinan to Pagudpud in Ilocos. Surely, there are places here where you can enjoy your summer,” he said.