Gov't to inspect other PH tourist spots after Boracay closure

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) — The government will focus next on the conditions of other destinations in its bid to address environmental concerns, an official said Thursday.

"Boracay is just the start," said Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre in a media briefing, where he identified other destinations the inter-agency task force will also inspect.

READ: Shorter Boracay closure possible – officials

"Puerto Galera is going to be visited next by the inter-agency task force. We have received reports of the conditions there, and we want again to help rehabilitate," Alegre added.

The coastal town of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro is known for its beaches, along with leisure activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling.

Alegre said the task force, composed of officials from the Tourism, Interior, and Environment departments, have begun looking into two tourist spots in Palawan.

"The DILG (department of Interior and Local Government) and the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). have already started looking into El Nido...The Coron Bay has reportings of some pollution as well," Alegre said.

El Nido is a popular island-hopping destination, which also boasts numerous beaches, caves, and forests. Coron, meanwhile, takes pride in about a dozen dive spots for recreational diving.

The task force will also check up on Siargao island in Surigao del Norte, which is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the country.

"We've also been asked to look at the problems in Siargao, it's such a hot destination now, and we wish to help them with their sewage treatment plant and their garbage disposal system," Alegre said.

Alegre said they will look into Bohol, which is home to the Chocolate Hills, indigenous tarsiers, and several beaches and dive spots.

He said Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto has already moved for the task force to look into the island.

Alegre added it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who ordered the inter-agency task force to look into the top destinations.

"Because we want, as I said, the Philippines not only to be a fun place to be in, but also environmentally compliant," he said.