EL NIDO, Palawan – Lagoons and islands here are still temporarily closed for any recreational and ecotourism-related activities to locals and tourists, according to the latest advisory of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Executive Committee (Execom).
The local government unit and the El Nido Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ENTMRPA) Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) have imposed “preventive probational quarantine measures” on its protected areas, in order to allow them to recover from the human impacts of previous tourism activities.
Protected Area Superintendent Mildred Suza said a coral assessment and reef check was conducted in the last week of July 2020, in partnership with Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI). She said the group is currently consolidating the data and preparing a report for presentation to the PAMB to determine the effectiveness of the carrying capacity being imposed in the lagoons.
“Kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, diving and other related activities are still temporarily suspended like in small and big lagoons including Shimizu island. Base on our observations during this pandemic. Our lagoons are recovering from the damages caused by anthropogenic impact,“ PASu Suza told Palawan News in an interview Thursday.
Only authorized researchers and activities within ENTMRPA approved by the PAMB and properly coordinated with Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) with strict health protocols observance shall be allowed.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Palawan News, Municipal Tourism Officer Arvin Acosta reiterated a similar call to local residents.
He said that local enforcement agencies continue patrolling and monitoring of these areas to ensure compliance.
“Nand’yan naman lagi din ang ating mga enforcement team like Philippine Coast Guard and protected area management office checking every day even sa mga islands at sinasabihan sila na bawal muna,” Acosta said.