President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged hotels and other establishments in Palawan to just “follow the rules” to avoid another Boracay or temporary closure of tourist destinations because of environmental problems.
Speaking at the Subaraw Festival in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Duterte said he is “putting on notice” all hotels and resorts operating near the beach.
“I’m giving notice to hotels na nag-operate sa dagat (operating near the sea). If you want to build a hotel, have a water treatment (system),” Duterte said.
The President stressed that tourism destinations in the provinces should avoid “overloading” or having people beyond the carrying capacity, and pointed to Boracay as the “classic case.”
“’Yung underground river, you have to control the number. Do not allow ‘yung hotels sa easement. Doon kayo sa malayo. The beach should remain para sa tao,” Duterte said.
Palawan is one of the country's top tourist draws, with Puerto Princesa City listed over a million tourists in 2017. The other popular destinations in the province are El Nido, and Coron.