El Nido is taking decisive action to address the increasing cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in the area.

The local government, in collaboration with the Municipal Health Office (MHO) and the Department of Health (DOH), has decided to prohibit all island-hopping food handling or preparation activities in the town.

This is a result of a meeting convened on Friday, May 19, with travel and tour operators, as well as boat operators in El Nido.

DOH’s stance on combating AGE cases in the town was also discussed.

According to the local government, the visit of DOH-OIC Secretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire emphasized the urgency of resolving the issue.

Recognizing the significance of providing safe drinking water in a tourism-driven town like El Nido, local officials have taken up the challenge and initiated efforts to promptly address the issue.

This decision is part of a broader strategy overseen by the El Nido Rehabilitation Task Force (ENRTF), which is responsible for overall rehabilitation efforts related to environmental protection, including water quality, wastewater discharge, and solid waste management.

AGE is typically caused by bacterial or viral infections contracted through contaminated food or water and is characterized by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Medical experts have identified various pathogenic microorganisms, including Clostridium perfringens, Vibrio cholerae, and E. coli, as common causes of AGE. The contamination of food or water with these microorganisms or toxins can lead to the development of the illness.

While implementing the prohibition on island food preparation, the local government aims to strike a balance between addressing the current situation and ensuring a positive experience for visiting tourists.