The photo on the left is provided by the El Nido LGU via Facebook, while the photo on the right is from Amos Pili Tree Inn on Booking.com

Amos Pili Tree Inn in El Nido has been shut down for non-compliance with regulations, including operating without a valid mayor’s permit and committing other violations.

The municipal government enforced the closure of Amos Pili Tree Inn on May 5 through Executive Order No. 23-034, following the recommendation of officials from Barangay Maligaya and the El Nido Rehabilitation Task Force (ENRTF).

“Una nang binigyan ng abiso at babala ang nasabing establishemento ngunit hindi ito sumunod. Ito na ang pinakaunang establishmento sa bayan na ipinasara ng ENRTF matapos ang ginawang inspeksyon at pagbibigay ng sulat-abiso liban pa sa mga natanggap na mga reklamo sa kanila,” the municipal government said in a posted statement.

(The said establishment was previously warned and given a notice, but failed to comply. It is now the first establishment in the town to be closed down by the ENRTF after an inspection and the issuance of a warning letter, in addition to receiving complaints against them.)

Closure banner posted on Amos Pili Tree Inn by municipal government personnel in Brgy. Maligaya. | Photo from El Nido LGU on FB

However, the closure order is temporary, the municipal government stated. The establishment may be given the opportunity to reopen once its owners comply with the necessary environmental laws, national laws, and municipal ordinances.

The local government said that through the ENRTF it is continuously striving to address the town’s environmental issues, such as illegal wastewater discharges, garbage, easement violations, traffic, water quality, lack of mayor’s permits, and illegal squatting, among others.

The task force is currently focusing its efforts on Brgy. Maligaya, and will eventually cover all other barangays in the town.

Despite the government’s drastic efforts to enforce environmental and sanitation compliance in El Nido, the town’s main water body, Bacuit Bay, remains contaminated with high levels of fecal coliform.

This water pollution, which has been a major cause for concern since 2015, is attributed to the random discharge of septic waste, mostly human and animal feces, into the bay.

This prompted former President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an ultimatum in 2018, urging the national and local governments to undertake stringent measures to enforce compliance with national zoning and easement regulations.

However, recent monitoring of the bay’s water quality has shown little improvement, and there have been reports of both residents and visitors suffering from diarrhea. Local officials are now worried about the potential impact on the town’s tourism industry and are urging establishments and households to take action to address the matter. (with a report from R. Rodriguez)