Members of the Provincial Board (PB) are dismayed over the alleged failure of luxury hotels and resorts in Palawan to secure their endorsements before they operate.
In a privilege speech on Tuesday, board member David Francis Ponce de Leon said all hotels and resorts in the province should get an endorsement from the PB before they open to tourists.
Even if they help promote Palawan’s tourism industry, he said they still have to submit to the process and obtain their approval of their businesses.
“Talagang napakaganda, but unfortunately na-check natin ‘yan sa Secretariat at hindi pa ito dumadaan sa endorsement natin. I believe they are about to start their operation but napansin natin na hindi na sila nagpapa-endorse,” he said.
Ponce de Leon did not mention any specific hotel but cited their proliferation in the towns of Coron and Roxas.
In Roxas, the resort that has been recently advertised was Banwa Private Island, a luxury holiday destination with six beach-front villas and an infinity pool and Jacuzzi deck at the water’s edge.
He said that an endorsement or approval from the PB is different from the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) certificate being issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Sa Coron may tatlong resorts na mamahalin at malapit ng mag-operate pero hindi pa rin dumadaan sa endorsement ng Sanggunian. Part ng trabaho natin ay i-check and i-verify [ang compliance nila] iba ang sa PCSD and iba din ang DENR. We have our system and they should come here para malaman natin if they are complying with the prescribed laws,” Ponce de Leon pointed out.
The matter has been endorsed to the environment and tourism committees for further discussion and to determine the actions the PB must undertake before they start full operation.