The Provincial Board has asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last week to assess all the province’s seacoasts and their tourism potentials to avoid the same fate as El Nido, Coron and Boracay.
Board Member David Francis Ponce de Leon, who authored the request resolution, said the multiplier effect of tourism coupled with unregulated growth can often lead to the destruction of the province’s coastlines.
“We all know what happened in Boracay, at ayaw naman natin matulad sa kanila kaya as early as now, dapat ma-assess na ang mga coastal areas,” he said.
He said it is a precautionary measure that must be undertaken to preserve the coastal areas in the province.
The DENR can also make recommendations after the assessment that will serve as the province’s guidelines in developing the potentials of Palawan’s seashores.
“This is a precautionary measure para hindi tayo matulad sa Bocaray. At least, ‘yong DENR makakapagbigay ng recommendation kung ano ang dapat sa ating mga coastal areas para hindi na aabot sa nangyari sa ibang lugar,” Ponce de Leon added.
Even unexposed beach areas should be studied and assessed in case tourism development enters them.
“The DENR has the power to assess the coastal areas of Palawan, particularly ‘yong mga hindi pa dinarayo ng mga turista. So doon pa lang magkakaroon na agad tayo ng measure kung ano ba ang kakayanan ng mga area na ‘to na tumanggap ng infrastructure development,” he added.
Tourism models and planning can be effectively enforced, Ponce de Leon explained, after comprehensive researches and data gatherings have been done the coastal areas, which should include but not limited to tourist arrivals, coastal degradation, accessibility, and marine quality among others.