Issue of June 10, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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EMB personnel assigned at critical tourist spots in CAR
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Some lessons are learned the hard way.

To ensure that tourist destinations in the Cordillera will not suffer the same fate as that of Boracay Island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its attached agency, the Environmental Management Bureau have deployed its personnel in critical tourist spots in the region to help educate the public about proper waste management.

EMB Regional Director Reynaldo Digamo said none of the tourist spots in the region are potential repeats of the Boracay incident but it could happen if concerned agencies, officials, the community, and tourists do not help in preserving the environment.

He said the top concern of the EMB in tourist spots in the Cordillera is solid waste management.

DENR Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo said visitors or tourists have to be taught not only about proper waste disposal but on waste reduction.

“Imagine each tourist having with them disposal plastic bottles. Ilang sako ‘yun na maiipon,” he said.

Pablo said that in tourist sites, visitors, and the community have to be taught about bringing reusable water containers, instead of the one-time use bottles. 

The DENR has deployed 44 EMB personnel in various tourist spots in the region.

Also to conserve protected areas, specifically at Mount Pulag, the DENR is now requiring trekkers to bring fire extinguishers.

Pablo said to avoid a repeat of the incident where a large portion of the mountain’s mossy forest got burned, each trekker or hiker is required to bring a fire extinguisher with a minimum weight of two kilos. He said this is a proactive measure to avoid a repeat of the incident.

Mount Pulag was ordered closed for a few months to allow the forest to regenerate.

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