ADB to help draw up Coron, El nido tourism plan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed to help the Department of Tourism (DOT) implement a sustainable tourism program for Coron and El Nido, Palawan, to be rolled out next year.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Manila-based multilateral lender said the two popular tourist destinations in Palawan province were deemed “requiring investments in environmentally sustainable urban facilities and marine environment protection in anticipation of higher numbers of tourists visiting the islands over the next decade.”
“Palawan is known as the country’s ‘last ecological frontier’ and we want to ensure its rich marine ecosystem, particularly in El Nido and Coron, will be protected amid the rapid growth in tourist demand,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was quoted by the ADB as saying.
Under its support to the DOT, the ADB said it would offer “solutions and financing to address the immediate need for vital urban infrastructure and services, such as solid waste management, drainage and sanitation, and clean drinking water in El Nido and Coron.”
Also, the ADB will “help build the capacity of local stakeholders to protect and conserve healthy oceans and rehabilitate key biodiversity-based tourism sites.”
“This project is critically important for ADB because we share with the Philippine government the goal of seeing local economies thrive on an environmentally sustainable path. Tourism, when managed properly, can be a catalyst for inclusive development that can lift residents of El Nido and Coron out of poverty,” ADB country director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said. —BEN O. DE VERA
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