Undesirable practices threaten Gigantes island chain; Voluntary closure of islands to tourism activities pushed

first_imgCatalbas also expressed concern over the lack of water in the fewrestrooms available to tourists in Gigantes which boasts of white-sand beaches. “Their seafoods are more expensive than those from Roxas City,”lamented Regional Director Helen Catalbas, citing the information that reachedher office. “I recommend the voluntary temporary closure of Gigantes to saveit,” said Catalbas. Catalbas said she would call the attention of Gov. Arthur DefensorJr. so that Gigantes’ concerns would be addressed fast in coordination with thelocal government of Carles, DOT and DENR. Betita acknowledged that DOT could further help Gigantes. “I’m not objecting,” he said although he clarified that his localgovernment has been gradually addressing the environmental concerns such asputting up a materials recovery facility were solid wastes should be sortedout. “Kun magamitka comfort room or maligo ka,mapahakot ka tubig. Sukton ka kay wala sing provision nga tubi,” said Catalbas. Mayor Siegfredo Betita of Carles welcomed Catalbas’recommendation. Gigantes’ environmental concerns should not reach the level ofBoracay Island that it must be ordered closed by the national government, shestressed. The lack of toilet is what’s worrying the Department of Tourism(DOT) much. Catalbas expressed concern over the possible increase in the levelof coliform bacteria in Gigantes’ waters. Islas de Gigantes in the municipality of Carles, Iloilo is a fledgling tourist attraction that boasts of white-sand beaches, pristine waters and fresh sea breeze. IAN JOHN PAMPLONA/PN The government closed Boracay for six months last year from Aprilto October for a massive rehabilitation. Roxas City is the acknowledged “seafood capital” of thePhilippines due to its abundant seafoods that attracts tourists. Catalbas recommended three months of closure to clean Gigantes upand put up the necessary facilities such as toilets. ILOILO – Prohibitive prices of seafoods. Lack of serviceablerestrooms. These two concerns threaten the Gigantes group of islands, afledgling tourism destination in the northern municipality of Carles. This was not the first time Catalbas recommended a temporaryclosure of the Gigantes. In July last year she suggested a “self-closure” oftourism establishments there after the Department of Environment and NaturalResources (DENR) bared rising coliform levels in the area due to the dearth oftoilets and adequate waste disposal system. “They shouldcome here and work hand in hand with us. Bag-uhanonpa lang kami. We do not know kun anoang standards. Tudluan sila (resortowners),” said Betita. The Gigantes island chain consists of about 10 islands; the twolargest are Gigantes Norte (North Gigantes) and Gigantes Sur (South Gigantes). The island chain has four villages –Asluman (834 families), Granada (771 families), Gabi (613 families), andLantangan (1,054 families) – with nearly 18,000 residents./PNlast_img read more