Cimatu seeks long-term dev’t plan for Panglao Island

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has urged local executives to formulate a long-term development plan for Panglao Island so as to avoid a situation similar to Boracay Island, which is now facing serious environmental problems mainly due to unmanaged overdevelopment.


Just like Boracay, Panglao is one of the country’s top tourist destinations famous for its white sand beaches and world-class diving.


Even as he lauded ongoing efforts of the Bohol provincial government and other Panglao stakeholders, Cimatu underscored the need to plan for the island’s long term development in order to ensure the sustainability of its environment.


“The plans you are making are good for now. But I want to see a development plan for Panglao for the next 30 years,” Cimatu told members of the Panglao Island and Tagbilaran Executive Council (PITEC) led by Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto during their meeting held last Monday.


PITEC is a coordinating and advisory body composed of local government executives and stakeholder representatives from Tagbilaran City and the two municipalities that make up Panglao Island, Dauis and Panglao.


The council aims to facilitate the development of Panglao, especially in anticipation of the impacts of the construction of an international airport on the island.


Cimatu listened as officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional office in Central Visayas presented water quality sampling results as well as the list of establishments violating easement laws.


The PITEC secretariat also presented policy actions and initiatives to address the island’s environmental concerns, which include a proposed wastewater treatment facility in the world famous Alona Beach.


Cimatu commended these efforts, but warned on the expected effects that the completion of the international airport would bring.


“Unlike Boracay, there are more reasons for people of all ages to come here. The tourism industry will really flourish and the infrastructure like sewage will have to change,” he said.





“You should have a plan, what will happen 10, 20, years from now to guide future leaders because [short-term] plans change when leadership changes,” he added.


The DENR chief proceeded to recount his observations in Boracay, particularly the intrusions on forestland and wetlands, water pollution, and traffic caused by unchecked construction of establishments that have made the streets narrower.


“We do not want this to happen in Panglao, or Siargao, or El Nido,” he stated. #


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