DOT to set up landfill in Siargao

THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism (DOT) will set up a sanitary landfill in Siargao, Surigao del Norte in a bid to protect the island as a tourist destination.

Tourism Undersecretary Katherine Chloe de Castro said yesterday in a press conference at Marco Polo Davao Hotel that they would establish the landfill in General Luna, where there are tourism establishments.

This is to prevent what had happened in Boracay, where establishments have been warned to face closure if they fail to do massive clean-up.

“I have high hopes for Siargao,” de Castro said, as an increase in tourist arrivals is expected once there would be additional direct flights to the island.

At present, there are direct flights from Manila and Cebu to Siargao. On March 25, there would be Davao to Siargao air link through flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

De Castro said the sanitary landfill project would be set up in 3.3 hectares of land. She said this is targeted to be set up before the end of the year.

“Siargao had an open dumpsite before. To prevent the deluge of waste, there is a need to have a sanitary landfill,” de Castro said.

Siargao has been touted by DOT as the surfing haven in the south.

Meanwhile, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said they will support the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to fix the problems in Boracay. She said they work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to monitor the island.

The DENR issued notices of violations to 300 establishments in Boracay. The notices were already sent to 57 out of the 300 establishments.

“The massive clean-up of Boracay is a bitter pill that we have to swallow if we are to collectively save and sustain Boracay,” Teo said.

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