DoT-6 rec­om­mends tem­po­rary ‘self-clo­sure’ in Gi­gantes Is­land as ‘pre­ven­tive’ step

Business World - - THE NATION - Siya maglala Con­serva Louine Hope U.

THE DE­PART­MENT of Touris­mWestern Visayas (DoT-6) has rec­om­mended that tourism es­tab­lish­ments in Gi­gantes Is­land, un­der the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Car­les, un­der­take a tem­po­rary clo­sure for three to four months to give way to an is­land clean-up and up­grade their fa­cil­i­ties. “They could self-close if they want. It’s just a sug­ges­tion but the de­ci­sion lies with the lo­cal govern­ment unit,” DoT-6 Re­gional Di­rec­tor He­len J. Catal­bas told the me­dia. The sug­ges­tion was pre­sented dur­ing the North­ern Iloilo Cruise Tourism Oc­u­lar In­spec­tion and Stake­hold­ers Di­a­logue at the Iloilo Provin­cial Capi­tol on July 10. Ms. Catal­bas said the DoT is ready to pro­vide sem­i­nars to front liners such as tri­cy­cle driv­ers, pump boat op­er­a­tors, and restau­rant own­ers, among oth­ers, to im­prove the is­land’s tourism ser­vices. She also stressed that the pro­posed clo­sure is just a pre­ven­tive mea­sure, not cu­ra­tive, “mean­ing, that be­fore

(it gets worse).” The pro­posal is in­tended to pre­vent Gi­gantes from suf­fer­ing the fate of Bo­ra­cay Is­land in Malay, Ak­lan, which is cur­rently closed to tourism for six months for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Car­les Mayor Sala­gunt­ing A. Betita wel­comed the sug­ges­tion and said he will take it up with the is­land’s tourism op­er­a­tors. “There will be a need to of­fer them al­ter­na­tive liveli­hood for the af­fected em­ploy­ees,” he said. The mayor also said that he will form a com­mit­tee to as­sess the es­tab­lish­ments’ com­pli­ance to the reg­u­la­tions. —

WESTERN VISAYAS: GI­GANTES IS­LAND, CAR­LES

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