Waste management protocols in tourist destinations must be strictly monitored and implemented even when most tourism activities are on a halt, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Thursday.

The DOT made the call following the coastal cleanup initiative of the DOT Region 11, dubbed “Scubasurero: Stand up, save our reefs,” which collected over 300 kilograms of garbage in the waters of Samal Island in Davao del Norte.

In a statement, the DOT said the pandemic has underscored the importance of sustainable tourism, with environmental protection as one of its major pillars.

“Compliance of the public with waste management protocols will help keep our waters clean, protect its rich marine life, and ensure its beauty will be retained for generations to come,” it said.

Through its “Save our Spots (SOS)” campaign, a culture of sustainable tourism is promoted by engaging tourists on responsible travel and involving more people to act for the preservation of natural wonders.

“While the Department is pleased that these water destinations, among many others, continue to attract visitors, the DOT also appeals to tourists and residents alike to maintain cleanliness and only leave trash in designated locations only,” the DOT said. (PNA)

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