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waste management in tourism spots philippines

The imperatives of sustainable tourism in the Philippines

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Shared Values

By Ron F. Jabal

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Sustainable tourism is an approach to travel that prioritizes environmental, social, and economic considerations to ensure that tourism activities can endure over time without compromising the well-being of future generations.

In the Philippines, a country known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse cultural heritage, the implementation of sustainable tourism practices becomes crucial. This is especially true given the role of tourism in the country’s economic growth.

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT) recently expressed optimism about the country’s prospects for more tourism dollars after the country surpassed its 2023 target in tourist arrivals. Based on of fi cial records, the previous year closed with a total of 5,450,557 international visitors to the Philippines, which is 650,000 higher than the original target of 4.8 million. According to the DoT, 91.8% of the visitors were foreign nationals mostly coming from South Korea (26.41%), the United States (16.57%), Japan (5.61%), Australia (4.89%), and China (4.84%).

As the country welcomes more international visitors, coupled with the resurgence of local tourism, it has become imperative for the government to balance its drive to generate tourism proceeds with more sustainable practices in tourism.

One of the primary advantages of sustainable tourism is the preservation of natural resources. In the Philippines, destinations like Palawan have embraced eco-friendly practices to protect their pristine beaches and coral reefs. The local government has implemented strict regulations on waste management and enforced responsible tourism guidelines to safeguard these delicate ecosystems. Sustainable tourism also plays a pivotal role in preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. In places like Batanes, efforts have been made to promote community-based tourism, allowing visitors to experience the local way of life while contributing to the economic development of these communities. This approach helps in maintaining traditional practices and ensures that cultural heritage is not lost in the wake of tourism.

Sustainable tourism creates economic opportunities for local communities. By engaging in community-based tourism initiatives, the Philippines has seen the rise of homestays, locally run tour operations, and handicraft businesses. This economic diversi fi cation reduces dependency on a single industry, making these communities more resilient to economic fluctuations.

But sustainable tourism comes with its own challenges. Despite efforts to promote sustainable tourism, some popular destinations in the Philippines still face the threat of over-tourism. Boracay, for instance, struggled with environmental degradation and overcrowding, leading to a temporary closure for rehabilitation. Managing visitor numbers and ensuring carrying capacity are critical challenges in sustaining these destinations. Insufficient infrastructure can hinder the implementation of sustainable tourism practices. Many remote areas in the Philippines lack proper waste management systems, water treatment facilities, and transportation networks. The absence of these crucial elements can strain local ecosystems and compromise the overall sustainability of tourism in these regions.

The commercialization of culture is yet another challenge associated with tourism in the Philippines. In some cases, traditional practices and cultural events are modified to cater to tourist expectations, leading to a loss of authenticity. Striking a balance between sharing cultural heritage with visitors and preserving it in its true form remains a signi fi cant challenge.

Sustainable tourism in the Philippines presents a dual reality of both successes and challenges. While initiatives in destinations like Palawan and Batanes demonstrate the positive impacts of responsible tourism, challenges such as over-tourism, inadequate infrastructure, and cultural commodi fi cation persist. The key lies in continuous collaboration between the government, local communities, and tourists to strike a balance that ensures the longevity of the tourism industry while safeguarding the natural and cultural treasures of the Philippines. Only through such collective efforts can the archipelago achieve a sustainable and resilient tourism sector that bene fi ts both present and future generations.

There are, however, success stories in nearby countries that we can emulate in implementing serious sustainable tourism initiatives. Bali, Indonesia’s success in sustainable tourism lies in its commitment to preserving its natural beauty. The island has implemented waste management programs, enforced regulations on water use, and encouraged eco-friendly accommodations. The Philippines can draw inspiration from Bali’s integrated approach to sustainability, considering similar measures to protect its own natural wonders. Chiang Mai’, Thailand’ success in community-based tourism, demonstrates the potential for empowering local communities. By engaging with visitors in a way that respects traditions and fosters economic growth, the Philippines can replicate this model where cultural preservation and community involvement are crucial.

We should be able to learn also from Malaysia, whose commitment to ecotourism is evident in projects like the Royal Belum Rainforest. This initiative focuses on biodiversity conservation while offering sustainable tourism experiences. The Philippines can develop and protect its own biodiversity hotspots, such as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, through ecotourism initiatives that contribute to both conservation and local economies.

Another role model is Vietnam, whose success in community-based tourism in Sapa demonstrates the power of involving local communities. The Vietnamese government, along with NGOs, has facilitated homestays and cultural experiences, providing economic opportunities for residents while preserving traditions.

Lastly, we should be able to learn as well from Singapore which has embraced sustainable tourism through projects like Gardens by the Bay. The incorporation of green spaces and sustainable architecture showcases the city-state’s commitment to balance urban development with environmental responsibility. The Philippines can adopt similar practices in its urban tourism hubs like Manila.

As we continue to learn from best practices, the country should also strengthen and promote initiatives that will further bolster our sustainable tourism campaigns. For one, the foundation for sustainable tourism in the Philippines lies in a robust policy framework and effective regulation. The government can establish and enforce policies that promote responsible tourism, including regulations on waste management, carrying capacities for popular destinations, and incentives for businesses adopting sustainable practices. Engaging local communities remains paramount for the success of sustainable tourism. The government can facilitate community-based tourism initiatives, encouraging the active participation of locals in decision-making processes. This involvement ensures that communities become stakeholders in the industry, fostering a sense of responsibility.

Another area of focus requires the provision of appropriate infrastructure to support environmental and cultural preservation. The government can invest in eco-friendly infrastructure, including renewable energy sources, and sustainable transportation options. This not only enhances the visitor experience but also minimizes the impact on local ecosystems.

Ultimately, two major areas of concentration matter: collaboration and massive education of all stakeholders. Collaboration between the government, the private sector, and local communities is crucial. The government can foster partnerships with businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international bodies to pool resources and expertise. Such collaboration ensures a holistic approach to sustainable tourism, addressing diverse challenges with collective solutions. On the other hand, educating both tourists and local communities about sustainable practices is essential. The government can implement awareness campaigns highlighting the importance of responsible tourism, sustainable resource use, and cultural preservation. Tourists, armed with knowledge, can make more informed choices, contributing to the sustainability of the industry.

As the Philippines continues to grapple with the challenges posed by its growing tourism industry, embracing sustainable practices becomes not only a choice but a necessity. The future of sustainable tourism in the Philippines requires a concerted effort from the government, businesses, and local communities. Drawing inspiration from successful initiatives in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has an opportunity to rede fi ne its approach to tourism. Through the adoption of responsible practices, community empowerment, and a commitment to preserving both natural and cultural assets, the nation can pave the way for a sustainable tourism industry that bene fi ts not only the economy but also the environment and local communities. The time to act is now, and by doing so, the Philippines can chart a course towards a future where tourism is a force for positive change rather than a threat to its own treasures.

Ron F. Jabal, DBA, APR, is the chairman and CEO of PAGEONE Group ( www.pageonegroup.ph ) and founder of Advocacy Partners Asia ( www.advocacy.ph ).

[email protected]

[email protected]

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PCEPSDI

Beating Plastic Pollution from the Tourism Sector

According to a report by UN Environment, eight million tonnes of plastic are being washed to the world’s oceans every year and have affected not just marine biodiversity, but also communities and wildlife. The COVID-19 pandemic has also aggravated the plastic pollution due to an increase in the use and disposal of single-use items such as medical face masks, plastic gloves, hand sanitizer bottles, and food packaging. Eighty percent of tourist destinations are located in coastal areas, which makes the tourism sector even more susceptible to the tides of plastic pollution.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tips on How to Travel Safely without Single-Use Plastics

In light of these factors, the Department of Tourism (DOT), through its sustainability campaign Save Our Spots, has collaborated with the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), through the Transforming Tourism Value Chains project, in cooperation with UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in creating an awareness campaign to reduce single-use plastics in the tourism sector while keeping in mind health and safety protocols. The key messages of the campaign are aligned with the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) , which seeks to unite the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. The GTPI enables businesses, governments and other tourism stakeholders to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards circularity in the use of plastics.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tips on How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics in Hotels

The campaign, funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety under their International Climate Initiative, is designed for three key audiences in mind: (1) hotel managers and procurement officers, (2) hotel staff, and (3) tourists and guests. It seeks to encourage the mindset that reduction of unnecessary plastic packaging is possible, while ensuring the health and safety of hotel staff and guests, by developing robust sanitization procedures, promoting digital and contactless transactions, and inviting guests to be part of the change. Other organizations that took part in the campaign are: Clean our Oceans Project (CoOp), Reef World Foundation, Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Inc., and World Wide Fund for Nature – Philippines (WWF-Philippines).

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Group Photo of the Responsible Tourism through Plastic Upcycling and Waste Management online training

To further encourage the hospitality sector to take action on plastic pollution amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a training webinar entitled “ Responsible Tourism through Plastic Upcycling and Waste Management” was also hosted on December 15, 2020. Almost 70 participants from different sectors – government, academe, and private sector – attended the training webinar. Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat from the Department of Tourism also showed her support by welcoming the participants and delivering the opening remarks, stating that “ with so many of our sights being close to the water, we must restart and revive our campaign to save our Spots and protect them from plastic pollution .” Speakers from CoOp and WWF-Philippines then enlightened participants about existing plastic waste management issues in the country, and how these pose a threat to the country’s marine biodiversity and conservation. They also showed how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting such issues, and introduced ways on how tourism businesses can operate more responsibly and minimize unnecessary usage of disposable plastic packaging during the pandemic. 

For more information about this campaign and the training webinar, or any interest in partnering with the TVC project, kindly email TVC’s Project Officer Kiko Velhagen at [email protected] or [email protected]

__________________________________________________

Co-organizers of the training webinar: 

Ms. Anna Varona

Founder, Clean Our Oceans Project 

[email protected]

Ms. Pauline Ramo

Department of Tourism – Branding and Marketing Communications  

[email protected]

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waste management in tourism spots philippines

STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM (DOT) ON THE COLLECTED GARBAGE FROM THE WATERS OF SAMAL ISLAND, DAVAO DEL NORTE

waste management in tourism spots philippines

The Department of Tourism (DOT) calls for the stricter monitoring and implementation of waste management protocols in tourist destinations, following the successful coastal clean-up initiative of the DOT Region XI, dubbed “Scubasurero: Stand up, save our reefs,” which collected over 300kg of garbage in the waters of Samal Island, Davao del Norte.

As embodied in the DOT’s Save our Spots (SOS) campaign, creating a culture of sustainable tourism begins with engaging others on responsible travel and involving more people to act for the preservation of our natural wonders.

While the Department is pleased that these water destinations, among many others, continue to attract visitors, the DOT also appeals to tourists and residents alike to maintain cleanliness and only leave trash in designated locations only.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the importance of sustainable tourism, with environmental protection as one of its major pillars. Compliance of the public with waste management protocols will help keep our waters clean, protect its rich marine life, and ensure its beauty will be retained for generations to come.

The DOT thanks its regional offices, other government agencies, members of the Philippine Coast Guard, and the private sector for their continuous efforts in conserving and protecting our natural resources.

Published:May 6, 2021

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DOT’s Frasco is among best-performing cabinet officials- RPMD Survey

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Frasco hails first-ever North Luzon Travel Fair as critical to revitalizing tourism; reiterates the Philippines’ readiness for visitors

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT welcomes long holidays for 2023; PBBM signing of Proclamation No. 90 important stimulus to PHL domestic tourism in 2023: DOT chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL visitor arrivals reach 2M; tourism revenue hit 100B – DOT Chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Philippines hailed as World’s Leading Dive and Beach Destinations

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL Tourism Chief initiates tourism cooperation talks with Italian Tourism Minister

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Palawan cited “Most Desirable Island” in 21st Wanderlust Travel Award

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Outlook for Philippine tourism positive – tourism chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT launches 1st North Luzon Travel Fair

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourism chief to lead PHL contingent to WTM, brings listening tours to FILCOM in UK

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PBBM oks easing of stringent travel restrictions

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHITEX 2022 yields record high 173M sales leads

waste management in tourism spots philippines

One Health Pass replaced with PHL’s ‘simpler’ eARRIVAL CARD system

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Philippine Experience Caravans to roll out 2023 – Frasco

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT relaunches Philippine Tourism Awards

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT exceeds 2022 target arrivals; PBBM rallies support for tourism as admin’s priority sector

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Siargao, a priority for Tourism Development — Frasco

waste management in tourism spots philippines

STATEMENT OF TOURISM SECRETARY CHRISTINA GARCIA FRASCO

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT bares tourism wins under PBBM’s first 100 days

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourist Rest Areas for PHL’s top destination – Cebu

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourist Rest Areas launched in Mindanao

waste management in tourism spots philippines

FY 2023 DOT budget submitted to plenary; Senators press for higher tourism budget

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT celebrates Philippines’ back to back wins at Conde Naste Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards; Boracay claims spot as top island in Asia anew

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Frasco secures CA nod as Tourism Chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT receives HOR nod for P3.573 B budget for 2023

waste management in tourism spots philippines

First ever DOT-DOLE nat’l tourism job fair opens

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourism Chief tackles plans to revive industry, entices foreign investors in New York briefing

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PBBM pronouncements at UN meet an “excellent representation” of PHL – Secretary Frasco

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT-DOLE 1st Philippine Tourism Job Fair pre-registration now open, more than 7k jobs available to tourism job seekers- Sec. Frasco

waste management in tourism spots philippines

STATEMENT OF TOURISM SECRETARY CHRISTINA GARCIA FRASCO ON THE LIFTING OF OUTDOOR MASK MANDATE IN THE PHILIPPINES

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT muling pinarangalan ng Selyo ng Kahusayan sa Serbisyo Publiko 2022

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Chief welcomes IATF recommendation to make masking optional when outdoors

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Phl scores back to back win in WTA Asia; Intramuros hailed as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction of 2022

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Frasco lays out DOT plans and programs for industry recovery; lawmakers bat for higher DOT budget

waste management in tourism spots philippines

More than 1,500 tourism jobs to be offered in joint DOT-DOLE job fair

Dot to ink tourism job fair program – trabaho, turismo, asenso with dole; domestic, international jobs to be available to tourism job hunters.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Thailand to offer tourism job opportunities to Filipinos– Frasco

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL tourism chief pushes for increased connectivity, interoperability of vax certs, equalization of opportunities, and sustainability in APEC tourism ministers’ meet

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Philippines strengthens tourism ties with Thailand

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT TRAINS BOHOL VENDORS ON FILIPINO BRAND OF SERVICE EXCELLENCE

waste management in tourism spots philippines

20 intl, local dive and marine experts take centerstage at PHIDEX 2022

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Measures in place to ensure safe travel to PHL – Tourism Chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

FRASCO OPTIMISTIC OF PH TOURISM RESURGENCE, LAUDS CEBU TOURISM SUCCESS

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Frasco eyes visitor-friendly, “distinctly Filipino” air, seaports in PHL

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT celebrates Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Dragon Boat Team historic four gold medal haul

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT to facilitate interagency effort to strengthen Filipino Brand of Service

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT to coordinate on quake-hit tourist destinations, heritage sites

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PBBM cites tourism as top-priority; orders infra development, enhancement of Filipino brand

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT chief takes “Listening Tours” to Luzon

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Chief affirms support to National Museum of the Philippines; proposes inclusion of museums in tourism circuits

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Boracay, Palawan and Cebu hailed World’s Best Islands; DOT celebrates back-to-back accolades for PHL destinations

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Marcos push for Tourism Infra strengthens industry, raises PHL global position – DOT Chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT lauds Boracay’s inclusion in TIME’s 50 World’s Greatest Places of 2022

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT lauds Cebu-based group win in int’l dance competition

Statement of tourism secretary christina garcia frasco on banaue.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourism Chief Frasco kicks off listening tours in VisMin, encourages officials to reach out to LGUs, stakeholders

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Tourism chief Frasco to go on ‘listening tours’ starting this week

Dot reports increase in domestic tourism in 2021.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Incoming tourism chief receives warm welcome from employees, vows to bring “LGU perspective” to DOT

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT’s Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) returns to Manila next month

waste management in tourism spots philippines

First Davao Dive Expo slated on June 24

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT touts ‘future farms’ as new and sustainable tourist attractions

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT pitches PHL as ideal retirement destination in Japan Expo

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT positions New Clark City as premier tourism investment hub

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PH’s significant recovery in travel and tourism hot topic in Routes Asia 2022

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT’s KAIN NA! takes foodies to a multi-sensory adventure

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Presents “Escape: Stories from the Road” Podcast

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Second (2nd) Online Master TESOL Certification Course

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT, MMC Foundation partnership brings ER bikes to three Metro Manila tourist sites

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT spotlights PWDs and women in tourism with new “It’s More Fun for All” campaign

Media release from the department of tourism.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL scraps COVID pre-departure test for fully vaccinated, boostered tourists

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DENR, DOT and DILG unveil Year of Protected Areas (YoPA) Campaign marking 90th anniversary of Protected Area establishment in the Philippines

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Department of Tourism and Mickey Go Philippines introduce Pinoy Mickey Funko Pops

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT launches “Keep the Fun Going” sustainable tourism campaign with gamified challenges

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT reminds AEs on proper flag etiquette

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT 49th Anniversary speech of the Tourism Secretary

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT pushes for 100% vaccination of active tourism workers

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT calls for lowering of testing price cap, certification of more saliva test facilities

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL may be next filming location as Tourism Summit brings in Hollywood execs

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC Investment Tour Highlights Viable Opportunities in Clark, Central Luzon

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC lauds PH successful hosting of Int’l tourism Summit

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Closing and Congratulatory Message during the Closing Ceremony of the 21st WTTC Global Summit of the DOT Secretary

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC: ‘Astonishing Recovery’ for Philippines’ tourism sector

waste management in tourism spots philippines

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Exhibition Booths

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC Opening Ceremony Welcome Remarks of the DOT Secretary

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC bullish on PH tourism recovery amid Covid-19 pandemic

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL Foreign tourist arrivals breach 200k mark – DOT Chief

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT, partner agencies celebrate Filipino Food Month

waste management in tourism spots philippines

WTTC announces speakers for its 21st Global Summit in the Philippines

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT seeks return of Korean tourists, PH’s top market

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT inks partnership with PNP, PDEA to beef up security in tourist destinations

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Launches Digital Travel Magazine “7641”

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PHL says “All systems go for full reopening on April 1”; Removes EED as entry requirement

Phl logs more than 100,000 visitor arrivals since feb. 10 reopening.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT meets with Japanese tourism execs to boost inbound tourism arrivals

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Statement of the DOT on hotel rooms occupancy guidelines

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PH opens doors to all foreign tourists with easing of arrival requirements starting April 1

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Travel to PHL is “easier”, more fun – Puyat

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Launches “Sounds More Fun in the Philippines” Playlist on Spotify

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT hopeful on higher tourism growth with downgrading of NCR, 38 areas to Alert Level 1

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Intramuros visitors up by 132% in February

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT bares higher tourist influx since reopening

Dot welcomes iatf approval to accept the national vaxcert of 12 additional countries.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PH receives 9,283 inbound tourists; DOT upbeat on higher arrivals in months ahead

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Puyat: Walk-in booster shots available for Boracay visitors

waste management in tourism spots philippines

All systems go for PHL reopening for international travel- Puyat

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Kids’ vaccination to make family travels safe, more fun

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT lists requirements and protocols for arriving foreign leisure guests

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Save the date for the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in the Philippines

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT: PH to accept fully-vaxxed tourists from visa-free countries starting Feb. 10

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT supports ‘Pharmacy and Drive-thru Vaccination Sites’ rollout in Baguio City

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT Launches “ASMR Experience the Philippines” Project

Dot to hold 2-day conference on english as second language (esl).

waste management in tourism spots philippines

PH cities, hotels bag ASEAN tourism awards

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Booster shots rolled out for fully vaxxed tourism workers; 50% of NCR hotel staff already “boosted”

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT trains over 30,000 tourism professionals amid pandemic

Dot welcomes eased travel movement between gcq and mgcq areas for tourism revival, hotel in ‘poblacion girl” fiasco suspended, fined, intramuros gives vulnerable population a breathing space, dot launches website with exclusive travel deals for balikbayans.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Anilao Underwater Shootout stages a successful comeback

waste management in tourism spots philippines

DOT’s KAIN NA! makes a comeback in Tagaytay

Dot earns unwto citation for have a safe trip, pinas ad.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Brgy. Bojo in Aloguinsan, Cebu bags UNWTO best tourism village award

More than 95% of tourism workers in dive establishments already vaccinated against covid-19: dot.

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Solid Waste Management in Hotels, Lodging Houses and Restaurants in Sabang Wharf: Gateway to Puerto Princesa Underground River-Philippines

Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science , Volume 563 , 2020 2nd International Conference on Resources and Environment Sciences 5-7 June 2020, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand Citation L. Acero 2020 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 563 012001 DOI 10.1088/1755-1315/563/1/012001

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The 7,107 islands of Philippines offer diverse tourist destinations. Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), one of the 7 wonders of nature is a natural park and the longest navigable underground river, rich in historical, unique karst environment and listed as UNESCO as world heritage site. Sabang Wharf, the entry point to PPUR is vulnerable to environmental pollution. It is where tourist facilities like restaurants/eateries, lodging houses and hotels are located. This study determine the type of solid wastes, percentage produced on a daily basis; methods of waste disposal and the problems encountered in the methods used; suggestions offered by the respondents in the enhancement of solid waste management in the area, and presence of E. coli and coliform contaminants in Sabang Wharf. Pertinent data gathered through field interviews, with the use of an interview schedule. The use of portable E. coli and coliform analyser, determined the absence of E. coli and coliform in beach areas of Sabang Wharf. Results disclosed that, waste disposals of tourism establishments in Sabang Wharf has supported proper implementation of Sustainable Waste Management Program-the project of PPUR management. Absence of E. coli and coliform in waters along the beaches of Sabang Wharf, attested to the eco-friendly environment in Sabang Wharf, despite its vulnerability as gateway to tourism site. Respondents' suggestions on the enhancement of Solid Waste Management Program of PPUR, are the; the provision of satellite junk shop for non-biodegradables, and continues strict enforcement of waste segregation and disposal.

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UN Tourism | Bringing the world closer

Solid Waste Management

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Solid Waste Management

Solid waste management is an important aspect in the sustainable development of tourism in a destination. The inappropriate and inefficient use of resources, problems of contamination and other negative impacts make it necessary for destinations to measure waste production and to manage its treatment. While a waste audit shows how much and which kind of waste there is, where it is produced and ends up (e.g., landfill, composting plants, etc.) it also allows to target tourism to assess its share to solid waste production. It furthermore helps destinations to stimulate circular economic processes, identify where reducing waste at the source is going to be most practicable and effective. Several indicators exist that allow destinations to monitor, inter alia, trends in solid waste production and recycling, development of waste services and on the perception of the cleanliness of a destination. 

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Environmental degradation in tourist spots underscore Earth Day in the Philippines

Asia philippines.

Law on sustainable tourism pushed

Manila: Earth Day strikes a painful chord for the Philippines as the country contends with lack of sustainable tourism regulations and highly polluting plastic waste.

As the country joins the world in marking Earth Day, the presidential palace said recent government moves to close down its most popular tourism destination, the internationally popular Boracay in Malay, Aklan, is a wake-up call for the country’s unhampered plastics waste generation and shift towards sustainable tourism.

“This year’s observance of Earth Day in the Philippines has stricken a resonant chord with the government’s resolve to clean and restore Boracay Island to its previous stature as one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches of the world,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Sunday.

Last week, President Duterte approved the six-month closure of Boracay to tourists starting April 26 following concerns that the island’s poor solid waste management and inadequate efforts to impose environmental protection laws are putting a strain on the local ecology.

“This is a good wake-up call to everyone that we must not sacrifice the future ecological sustainability on the altar of economic growth and development,” Roque said.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu cited a 2015 report by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment, which placed the Philippines in third position as among the highest source of plastic pollution in “global waters,” next to China and Indonesia.

Lia Alonzo, Research and Advocacy Programme Coordinator of the Centre for Environmental Concerns — Philippines said in the particular case of Boracay, the island has been experiencing two decades of recurring issues on waste water and solid waste management.

“There had been outbreaks of coliform bacteria as early as 1997 that caused a 60 per cent decline in tourist arrivals during that period. In 2004, the coliform crisis continued since not all establishments were connected to the centralised sewage treatment plant according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In 2009, the same problem was encountered in 2009 and 2015.

Aside the poorly managed waste and plastics pollution also resulted in the decline of coral cover. Alonzo said diminishing coral cover and pollution are correlated with the number of tourists visiting the country.

“A study of the Philippine and Japanese governments showed that the coral cover declined 70.5 per cent over a period of only two decades which coincided with the 38.4 per cent increase in tourist arrivals. Both the decline of water quality and coral reef deterioration were associated with the direct discharge of untreated waste near the shore,” Alonzo said.

Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez said the House tourism panel has already approved a bill which seeks to protect Boracay and other similar tourist destinations in the country from environmental issues.

Torres-Gomez, committee chairperson, said she filed House Bill 7229 or the proposed “Philippine Sustainable Tourism Act” to address issues of environmental degradation, public health and intractable tourism business growth in Boracay.

“The Philippine Sustainable Tourism Act will offer a paradigm shift from our old ways of doing business in the tourism industry,” Gomez said.

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Book cover

Solid Waste Engineering and Management pp 1–54 Cite as

Solid Waste Management in the Tourism Industry

  • Mohd Suffian Yusoff 6 ,
  • Mohamad Anuar Kamaruddin 7 ,
  • Mohamad Haziq Mohd Hanif 7 ,
  • Faris Aiman Norashiddin 7 ,
  • Abdubaki Mohamed Hussen Shadi 7 ,
  • Lawrence K. Wang 8 &
  • Mu-Hao Sung Wang 8  
  • First Online: 25 June 2022

532 Accesses

Part of the Handbook of Environmental Engineering book series (HEE,volume 25)

Tourism can generate a lot of opportunities and income, but it also has a lot of negative environmental and health consequences. The production of municipal solid waste and wastewater is one of the most significant impacts on the environment, economy, and finances. A variety of waste sources have been identified, and it is important to understand waste generation and its compositions. However, due to climatic conditions, geography, financial constraints, planning challenges, shifting consumption habits, transient population, and seasonal variations in waste quantity and composition, waste management in tourism destinations is particularly difficult. Furthermore, because parties involved in the design, development, and administration of tourist resorts have conflicts of interest, there is sometimes a lack of enthusiasm to implement new ideas and programs. Waste minimization, recycling, mitigation, best practices, and education should be further implemented to enhance sustainability.

  • Solid waste
  • Waste management

Municipal solid waste

  • Green tourism

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Authors and affiliations.

School of Civil Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Mohd Suffian Yusoff

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Mohamad Anuar Kamaruddin, Mohamad Haziq Mohd Hanif, Faris Aiman Norashiddin & Abdubaki Mohamed Hussen Shadi

Lenox Institute of Water Technology, Latham, NY, USA

Lawrence K. Wang & Mu-Hao Sung Wang

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Lawrence K. Wang

Mu-Hao Sung Wang

Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Yung-Tse Hung

A method of composting organic wastes that involve the use of bacteria that require oxygen. This necessitates exposing the waste to sunlight, either by turning it or pushing air into pipes that pass through it.

Accumulation of toxic substances within living organisms contributed by the environment.

A decaying process due to nature.

Diversity among and within plant and animal species in an environment.

Stress that occurs due to damage done to an organism by other living organisms.

An international agreement reached for a specific matter.

Tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.

The effect that the environment received due to the consumption of natural resources and the by-product produced, such as harmful gases generated.

Environmental protection strategy that makes the manufacturer of the product responsible for the entire life cycle of the product and especially for the take-back, recycling, and final disposal of the product.

An extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over the years and moving very slowly.

Measurement that seeks to capture a country’s economic output. Countries with larger GDPs will have a greater amount of goods and services generated within them and will have a higher standard of living.

An engineered method of disposing of solid waste on land that meets most of the standard requirements, such as proper siting, comprehensive site planning, proper leachate and gas management and tracking, compaction, regular and final cover, full access control, and record-keeping.

A facility for manually or mechanically separating commingled recyclables. Some MRFs are planned to distinguish recyclables from mixed municipal solid waste. The recovered materials are then baled and sold by MRFs.

Land covered with grass and other low plants.

An unintended consequence of an event or action, especially an unwelcome one.

The altitude in a particular place above which come snow remains on the ground throughout the year.

Any material that is discarded.

An automated waste collection system which conveys waste by air suction from individual buildings through a network of pipes to a central location for collection.

Volatile organic compound. Gases that are emitted from certain solids or liquids that may have short- and long-term health effects.

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Yusoff, M.S. et al. (2022). Solid Waste Management in the Tourism Industry. In: Wang, L.K., Wang, MH.S., Hung, YT. (eds) Solid Waste Engineering and Management. Handbook of Environmental Engineering, vol 25. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-96989-9_1

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Coastal tourism in the Philippines: The Sustainability Challenge

Although tourism can bring substantial economic benefits, it has many pitfalls that can easily erode the gains. This article looks at present and potential impacts of tourism on Philippine coastal resources and what can be done to mitigate them. -- By Carsten M. Huttche , Alan T. White and Ma. Monina M. Flores

An off-putting �S�, however, has found its way recently into news headlines and, more disturbingly, into the coastal waters in front of beach resorts: sewage.

The ultimate goal of the government and private sector is to restore a tarnished coastal environment back to clean beaches and crystal-clear waters for long-term business and environmental viability.

Tropical coastal areas have major advantages compared with the coasts in the temperate climate zones. They are better suited to offer the combination of sun, sea and sand to tourists year-round. The Philippines� tropical climate and diverse 18,000-kilometer coastline on more than 7,000 islands have made it an important area for coastal tourism development. Important coastal tourism destinations in the Philippines are shown in Figure 1 .

There are many examples in Asia of severe negative impacts on the environment from coastal tourism. The well-known examples of Pattaya Beach, Thailand and Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka are indicative of what can happen with over-development without consideration for carrying capacity or the balance between development and nature ( Wong 1991 , 1993 ). In the Philippines, development typically consists of small resorts which are somewhat integrated into the local culture and environment. But, even here, most coastal resorts are poorly planned with respect to the protection of those resources, namely coral reefs, nearshore water quality and clean beaches. Larger players such as international resort chains have only recently begun to implement more stringent environmental practices on their properties. There is room for significant improvement of environmental practices on both smaller, integrated resorts and larger, international resorts.

The negative impact of coastal tourism development in the Philippines reached the minds of the general public not long ago through media coverage of one near environmental disaster. In July 1997, the headline: �Boracay Water Unsafe for Bathing� shocked tourists, developers and operators of one of Philippines� most famous resort destinations, once voted the �world�s most beautiful beach� ( Trousdale 1997 ). Boracay waters were allegedly unsafe for swimming and other recreational activities due to high levels of coliform bacteria, indicating the presence of other microbes more harmful to human health. These organisms can cause illnesses such as cholera, typhoid fever and skin disorders.

The contamination of Boracay was the result of untreated or insufficiently treated wastewater from the countless small-scale septic tanks seeping into the water table or being flushed directly into the sea via beaches or streams. With its skyrocketing popularity as the major beach destination in the Philippines, the discharge of wastewater had soared to unmanageable levels during peak seasons.

If proper planning and effective environmental management practices were in place in Boracay, the risk of losing important coastal tourism business would have been avoided. If proper sewage and solid waste systems are installed, and the coastal environment is protected in these areas, high tourist arrivals can be accommodated, and sustainable economic benefits can be achieved. True, these measures cost money, but it is an investment for the future that protects other higher investments for tourism buildings and infrastructure in the long term.

Tourism players should look at smart and appropriate solutions for waste treatment. They must find practical, robust and cost-efficient systems for environmental protection that can be easily operated and maintained. An associated problem in implementing environmental guidelines for coastal resources is that there is no tax collected for use of coastal resources. Developers generally assume free access and do not charge tourists for access to beaches or nearby coral reefs. Yet, special efforts are almost always required to maintain these resources and their benefits in good condition. Thus, the opportunity cost of access to healthy natural resources is not being recovered through the present tourism economic structure.

Charging access fees to beaches is an effective way to finance the conservation of coastal resources ( White and Cruz-Trinidad 1998 ). One example is Port Barton, Palawan, where divers are willing to pay an average of PhP120-150 (US$2-3) per person for marine protection measures ( Arquiza 1999 ). Another is the Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary near Cebu, where a user fee levied for divers and visitors is generating US$300-500 per month to maintain the sanctuary ( White et al. 2001 ).

There are examples of small-scale coastal tourism projects that are environmentally sustainable. Various beach resorts encourage coastal conservation activities. Local communities, who benefit from low-impact visitors who want to snorkel, scuba dive or birdwatch, realize the need to protect these resources such as at Olango Island, Cebu or Apo Island, Negros Oriental ( White 1988a , 1988b ; White et al . 2001 ).

In other cases, larger resorts keep their guests happy by creating man-made enclaves with artificial beaches and lagoons, simulating beautiful, unspoiled coastal environments. These projects may contribute little to direct protection of coastal resources in the specific area. However, positive trends are developing in the Philippines, that link high volume coastal tourism destinations with satellite ecotourism sites where coastal communities are stakeholders.

A possible model for sustainable coastal tourism may be to concentrate tourists in better-managed large hotels and resorts outside sensitive coastal areas so their impact on resources can be more easily controlled and mitigated. These coastal tourism centers may provide the platform to stage short journeys to coastal protected zones in the vicinity that, if carrying capacities are observed, can provide economic benefits to communities and protect coastal environments. The so-called �off-site residence� of tourists could also be seen as an initial phase in the process of sustainable coastal tourism development.

The number of visitors to the Philippines is quite high and their interest is increasingly oriented toward natural destinations ( Figure 2 ). An opportunity thus exists for the country to build on this trend and use tourism as a means to enhance coastal and marine conservation through revenues generated and through the values of tourists who like �clean and green� experiences in their travels.

The Philippines has a diverse coastal environment with a variety of ecosystems and an extremely rich biodiversity and productivity. Sandy beaches, coral reefs, rocky headlands, mangroves, wetlands, estuaries, lagoons and seagrasses are typical. Each ecosystem plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the coastal zone as well as in maintaining the health of each other. This interdependence makes the coastal zone one of the most sensitive geographic areas. Damage to a coral reef, for example, will allow greater wave action on shore, causing beach loss. Alteration of one feature of the coastal zone usually causes damage to another feature, either directly or indirectly ( Figure 3 ).

The coastal ecosystems common to the Philippines and their linkages must be considered in planning for development. Those ecosystems of concern include coral reefs, mangroves, estuaries and beaches together with the marine waters that are essential to all marine ecosystems. Natural beach erosion processes and sand transport dictate building setback requirements and the need to maintain natural beach vegetation. Marine and fresh water quality maintenance is determined by the type and impact of coastal facilities and their waste treatment process. Aesthetically pleasing coastal features such as coral reefs, vegetation, clean beaches and water attract tourists while disturbed and polluted systems repel tourists. Thus, careful maintenance and enhancement of the coastal system is the only sustainable path for tourism development.

Cartens M. Huttche is Principle/Managing Consultant at Environmental Professionals (ENVIRO PRO/Singapore). He has an MSc in Biology major in Tropical Ecology from Freie Universitat, Berline, Germany. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Alan T. White is Deputy Chief of Party, Coastal Resource Management Project. He has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Hawaii. He is also President of the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc. Email: [email protected]

Ma. Monina M. Flores developed the Olango Birds and Seascape Tour that won the Environmental Experience Award in the 2001 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and a 2000 Conservation International Excellence in Ecotourism Award. She is founding chairperson of the Environment and Community Ventures Foundation, Inc. Email: [email protected]

Arquiza, Y.D. 1999. Rhythm of the Sea: Coastal Environmental Profile of San Vicente, Palawan. Coastal Resource Management Project, Cebu City, Philippines. 131p.

Sullivan, K., L. de Silva, A.T. White and M. Wijeratne. 1995. Environmental Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development in Sri Lanka. Coastal Resource Management Project and Coast Conservation Department, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 78p.

Trousdale, W. 1997. Trouble in Paradise. A Survey and A Discussion of Solutions. Boracay and, Philippines. Canadian Urban Institute-Philippines and Department of Tourism.

White, A.T. 1988a. Marine Parks and Reserves: Management for Coastal Environments in Southeast Asia. ICLARM Education Series 2, 36p., International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, Manila.

White, A.T. 1988b. The Effect of Community-managed Marine Reserves in the Philippines on their Associated Coral Reef Fish Populations. Asian Fisheries Science 1(2): 27-42.

White, A.T. and A. Cruz-Trinidad. 1998. The Values of Philippine Coastal Resources: Why Protection and Management are Critical. Coastal Resource Management Project, Cebu City, Philippines. 96p.

White, A.T. 2001. Philippine Coral Reefs: A Natural History Guide. 2 nd ed. Bookmark, Inc. and Sulu Fund for Marine Conservation Foundation, Inc. Manila, Philippines.

Wong, P.P. 1991. Coastal Tourism in Southeast Asia. International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, Manila. 40p

Wong, P.P. (ed.) 1993. Tourism vs. Environment: The Case for Coastal Areas. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London. 225p.

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In Panglao: Tourism funds waste management and conservation

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This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

In Panglao: Tourism funds waste management and conservation

Part 4 of a series

Part 1:  Panglao: Riding the tourism cash cow Part 2:  Garbage in paradise: The price of Panglao’s rise as tourist destination   Part 3: New system for old problems: Panglao’s struggle with solid waste

PANGLAO, Bohol – While tourism created a garbage problem for the municipality of Panglao, it’s also financing its new solid waste management system and environment conservation efforts on the ground.

Ian, a cinematographer who frequently dives around the country, had been to the renowned 5 dive sites in Balicasag Island to interact and take snapshots of sea turtles, schools of jacks, and barracudas.

“If you like sea turtles, then go to Balicasag. It’s known for its abundant turtle population and they grow to humongous sizes,” Ian said.

“The turtles are cool, they’re not afraid of people. Even if you slam into them accidentally, they’re just chill,” he added, noting that in some diving areas, turtles shy away from people. “Balicasag is one of the best places in the world for turtles.”

But Ian noticed what is “common” among other dive sites in the Philippines: the underwater scenery is a landscape of grays and coral rubbles. The coral reef in Balicasag is not as vibrant as other dive sites in the Visayas.

“Balicasag is not known for its corals,” he added. “If you dive, you’ll notice that there is evident environmental degradation underwater,” he said.

True enough, coral rehabilitation has been at the forefront of the municipality’s conservation efforts as resources from collected environment users’ fees (EUFs) are allotted for Panglao’s marine areas.

For coral rehab, fisheries

The degradation of corals can be attributed to a long history of fishing practices that are not sustainable, said Darwin Menorias of the municipal Coastal Resource Management Office (CRMO).

The coastal areas of Panglao are prime fishing grounds but through the years, the number of marine life has decreased. This, according to Menorias, was due to the degradation of the coral reefs in the area.

With legislative support from the municipality through Municipal Ordinance no. 12, series of 2014, the municipality started to charge EUFs for diving and snorkeling activities in the marine protected areas, including Balicasag.

The price for snorkeling was eventually amended through Municipal Ordinance no. 2, series of 2017. The new rates for snorkeling increased to P150 for Balicasag Island and P100 for other snorkeling areas in Panglao.

Registering 44,000 divers for 5 dive spots in Balicasag Island in 2017, the municipality earned approximately P11 million from environment fees alone. For the past 5 years, divers and snorkelers have been augmenting Panglao’s books, as the local budget rose to P167,647,061 in 2018.

The municipal share of the EUF gets clustered with the municipal treasury and a portion becomes part of the budget of the Coastal Resource Management Office, which eventually ends up for coral rehabilitation and marine life conservation.

Annually, during the International Coastal Clean-up day scheduled every third Saturday of September, the CRMO spearheads coral transplantation projects.

The first coverage area for the project was in Barangay Doljo in 2015. Though boasting of a long stretch of white beaches, the barangay’s 10,000-sqm marine area has only 10% live coral cover. After the program, the site had an enormous 80% live coral cover, albeit in juvenile stages in 2017.

“We intervened in that area because it’s 90% rubbles,” Menorias said. “After the intervention, we noticed a growing number of recruits of species but they are also small.” In the past, Doljo had damsels, which when fully grown, attract bigger fish.

By 2016, the coral rehabilitation turned to Barangay Libaong, whose location catches the yearly southwestern monsoon or habagat that mercilessly preys on the corals.

“The habagat causes an uproar underwater. After the waves crash on the shores and in the shallow parts, it does additional damage through backwash over the 3-hectare area,” Menorias said.

“When the waves hit the corals, they break. After the habagat season, you could already put in your pocket between 30-40% destruction,” he explained.

Last year, Barangay Bilisan became the priority area after a barge ran aground, causing 100% damage in the 2,000-sqm area.

Empowering the barangays

While in Balicasag Island, Ian didn’t notice any trash on the island and in the outlying waters. “The trash craziness is more noticeable on the mainland,” he noted.

True enough, Panglao’s beaches remain littered with garbage despite having a solid waste management system – and despite receiving allocations from the environmental fees.

The ordinance indicates how EUFs are to be allocated after making the necessary deductions:

  • 40% goes to the Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU). This allocation becomes part pf the general budget and is spent on priority programs.
  • 30% goes to the barangays after they submit a specific Program of Works (POW).
  • 25% goes to the Dive Site Management Teams and EUF monitoring teams.
  • 5% goes to the Padayon BMT (Bohol Marine Triangle), a tri-municipality consortium that was created to protect the Panglao-Dauis-Baclayon Triangle.

Each of the 10 barangays propose projects for the allocations and since 2014 have been pooling their resources for barangay-level solid waste management systems.

Each barangay has received P393,581.62 for 2014 and 2015 respectively, but these were disbursed earlier this year only. According to Roque Cubar, the barangays have allotted these for garbage collection and managing the mineral recovery facilities (MRF).

The municipality is set to release an additional P764,659.14 to the municipality to cover the years 2016 and 2017.

The budget was used for the maintenance of the MRFs, manpower fees, transportation, and land rentals, as most of the barangays’ MRF are situated in public lands.

Aside from the EUF, barangays also have a 40%-share from revenues collected by the municipality on licenses, concessions, and other businesses related to fisheries, as mandated by the ordinance.

Given all these resources, why are barangays short-handed in managing waste within their jurisdictions?

Factors abound, including problems pertaining to late disbursement of funds and lack of designated land for the MRFs.

According to Manuel Fudolin of the solid waste management office, barangays grapple with monthly rent of private lands to house the MRF buildings as barangays have no allocated areas for solid waste management. Because of lack of space, MRFs are located beside barangay halls or within residential areas.

In addition, deficiencies in updated policies to support the direct downloading of funds from the municipality to the barangays create a lag in operations, made worse by elections.

Earning from tourism, losing on disposal

But while the barangays’ share of the environment users’ fees increased, the annual budget on solid waste management decreased.

The 2018 budget of the solid waste management office was based on the cost estimate projected in the 10-Year Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. But the estimates were based on outdated projections since Panglao has accommodated more than P700,000 tourists and experienced more than a 1% increase in businesses since 2014.

(Click on the year below to see corresponding estimates.)

It’s not surprising that actual expenses incurred by the municipality are higher than allocations.

Panglao collected P777,520 from establishments in 2013 but spent P1 million on solid waste operating expenses. A year after, in 2014, collections increased to P937,330 while expenses on solid waste ballooned to P3 million.

This creates a push-pull effect for the municipality as it balances two things on the fiscal front: while it is strengthening its new waste management system, it is also financing the cost of disposing voluminous trash from tourism facilities.

Businesses in the municipality are paying annual collection fees of P3,000 to P4,000 each, a small price to pay since the amount of garbage has increased. Every week, Panglao spends an average of P4,500 in dumping fees at the Alburqueque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) for 3 tons of residuals.

“The municipality is facing a deficit in terms of waste management,” Fudolin said. “The total collections from establishments are limited and not enough to pay for hauling, manpower, maintenance, and dumping costs at the landfill.”

Private establishments also pose the biggest challenge to the existing solid waste management system: they do not strictly follow waste segregation rules set by the municipality. Worse, establishments are caught illegally dumping trash in vacant lots on the island.

The municipality then made a rule charging violators for every instance they fail to follow regulations in hopes of adding resources for waste disposal. Despite the charges, the habits remain.

“We still have a lot of recorded cases of non-segregation at source and we catch illegal dumping activities,” Fudolin said. “And every year, it’s the same establishments with the same types of violations.” – Rappler.com  

To be continued: Conclusion  | Erring establishments add to Panglao’s garbage woes

This story is part of a series on tourism and waste management in the Philippines, and was supported by the Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN).

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Sustainable ecotourism in the Philippines.

Save our Spots: A Bayanihan Movement by the Department of Tourism

Sustainable ecotourism in the Philippines.

Last November 13, we had the opportunity to visit what they often call the “Last Frontier of the Philippines”, for the launching of the Save our Spots campaign by the Department of Tourism.

Under the leadership of Secretary Berna, the direction of tourism in the Philippines has been steered towards promoting sustainable, responsible, inclusive tourism that does not only benefit local communities, but also the environment.

We have personally seen the steps that have been undertaken to move towards this goal. Take for example in El Nido, where recent policies have been implemented to disperse tourism, to implement carrying capacities, to minimize negative impacts of tourism, and to be more vigilant towards proper waste management. Where formerly, people could visit all the iconic and popular spots in El Nido in one tour, today, they would need to pick between doing either Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, or Tour D, spreading out popular destinations across the tours and ensuring each tour has a maximum limit of tourists per day, allowing for dispersal of tourists to combat overcrowding.

The Big Lagoon, which formerly allowed continuous entry of large pumpboats, one after another, to enter into its waterways for years, now has strict regulations not just for environmental hazards but safety hazards. Pumpboats can only park by its entrance, and tourists who wish to enter into the lagoon must ride a kayak- a low-impact, sustainable alternative to what was being. There are also limits to how many people can go at a given point in time.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

These seemingly small, but very significant action steps are critical to ensuring that the places we visit can last for generations to come. And that is what the current Department of Tourism’s administration has been instilling in all of us – that we don’t need to help in rehabilitating Boracay or doing a grand gesture, but we can start with the small deeds. This is also the thrust of their recently-launched bayanihan project, Save our Spots.

More Fun Forever

It’s safe to say that one of our country’s most successful tourism slogans of all time is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. It has attracted many tourists to see and experience the fun that is contained in our thousands of islands and the fun brought about by Filipinos who call our islands their home.

waste management in tourism spots philippines

It was a great move by the DOT to retain the tourism slogan for this year, and in our opinion, even greater to inject the aspect of sustainability alongside its move towards sustainable tourism — by advocating for a #MoreFunForever  campaign, which aims to inspire tourists, businesses and local communities to have a long-term view on tourism by protecting destinations and our natural resources.

Our tourist spots have always been recognized for their beautiful beaches, interesting island activities, cultural heritage, and people, which are primary reasons why both local and foreign tourists keep coming back to the Philippines and explore more places in our country’s 7,641 islands — but if we do not act responsibly as locals and tourists alike for their preservation, will we be able to enjoy these islands the way we do now?

A Call to Save our Spots

The task to preserve our natural and cultural heritage lies within each of us. As DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat has said, “We are now living in a time where we are more empowered to create better tourism choices for ourselves and our communities, and inspire others to care more for our tourist destinations. This moment calls for decisive action from all sectors involved to protect our destinations and ensure that the fun lasts forever.”

Let’s make these views last. Be a responsible traveler and make the Philippines #MoreFunForever – help #SaveOurSpots!#ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines Posted by Department of Tourism – Philippines on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

With the Save Our Spots movement by the DOT, they aim to educate tourists on how to be better travelers. This does not require the grandest of gestures—small, communal and continuous actions will go a long way. “We can start with simple deeds, such as using reusable tumblers instead of single-use plastics; respecting the local culture; throwing your wastes properly and, if somebody fails to do so, initiating to pick them up; advocating for local products; or just planning your next trip to be a responsible tourist wherever you go,” Secretary Berna encouraged.

The DOT will rollout various multimedia materials that will be showcased in strategic travel touchpoints such as airports, sea ports, vessels, and tourist accommodations to name a few. The department will also inculcate these when training front-liners and tour operators with the objective of developing a habit to take care of the country’s tourist destinations.

A Bayanihan Project

As with any successful initiative and with campaigns such as Save our Spots, we are called to come together and unite to achieve our shared goals; to show support for our country’s frontliners striving hard to make things right and to make things better, and to show support for our Motherland herself and each other as we strive for a cleaner, greener Philippines.

The DOT may have started the initiative, but the DOT cannot do it all on their own. That is why they are calling for the help of the local government, the private sector, and the people—both tourists and local residents, as sustainable tourism entails the unified efforts of all stakeholders.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to inculcate that sustainable tourism is our way to go,” Sec. Puyat further stressed. “ We hope that the SOS movement or this bayanihan project will ensure that our seas remain clean and thriving with marine life, our mountains and forests stay green and flourishing, and our cultural heritage continues to live on. By doing so, we continue to increase tourist arrivals, and enhance income-generating opportunities for Filipinos.”

waste management in tourism spots philippines

Bayanihan is a Filipino custom derived from a Filipino word “bayan”, which means nation, town or community. The term bayanihan itself literally means “ being in a bayan”, which refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal. Let us join the bayanihan movement of the Department of Tourism and show that we are a nation that comes together in the spirit of unity, cooperation, and shared love for our one home.

What’s your pledge to SAVE OUR SPOTS to help make the Philippines #MoreFunForever?

Post a comment in this pos t indicating 1 simple deed you can do to save our spots and tag 1 friend you want to hike with!

Individual will win:

  • 2 slots to a Hike in Ipo Watershed (Mt. Balagbag) With Tree Nurturing (Valid for 3 months)
  • 2 Sustainable Kits (Bamboo tumbler and Tupperware) from Department of Tourism
  • 2 food gift certificate worth Php500 each to purchase food during the hike from DOT
  • 2 Wildlife Bands (featuring endemic, endangered animals) you can use as headgear

*For Metro Manila/greater Manila residents *Comment until December 5, 2019.

Remember that no deed is too small to show your commitment to becoming a responsible tourist. Join us and make a stand!

Sustainable ecotourism in the Philippines.

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