DOT-Ilocos sees need for proper waste management in beaches


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) office in the Ilocos region has asked local government units (LGU) to undertake engineering intervention in managing wastes in coastal areas this early to ensure sustainable tourism.

DOT-1 (Ilocos) Director Martin Valera advised the LGUs to plan ahead and put the systems in place even as the region’s tourism beach areas still have no issue with waste disposal such as in the case of Boracay Island.

Valera noted that the department’s recent monitoring showed that the water in the region is still suitable for swimming.

“Most wastes are disposed of in septic tanks and these are just temporary. So we need engineering intervention to make our resources cleaner and better,” he said in an interview Friday.

Valera further said that ensuring the sustainability of a place benefits not only the tourism industry, but also the community itself and the environment.

“We cannot isolate tourism from community since what is good for the locals should also be good for the tourists. So think of the locals and the next generation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Valera also encouraged tourists to consider white sand beaches in Ilocos.

“We have white sand beaches. Also we are very near Manila, just four hours away and we have coastal areas over a thousand kilometers from Infanta, Pangasinan to Pagudpud in Ilocos. Surely, there are places here where you can enjoy your summer,” he said.

Ilocos recorded more than two million overnight tourists last 2017.

“We are still collating 2017 data, so the figure does not yet include daytime tourists,” he said.