Pagudpud mayor shuts down 20 homestay establishments

LAOAG CITY — At least 20 homestay establishments in Pagudpud town were shut down after they were found violating the Clean Water Act, Pagudpud town mayor Marlon Sales confirmed Saturday.

The town mayor said a joint inspection of the local government unit and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources found these homestay establishments directing their kitchen wastes to the sea.

Sales said the joint inspection team was formed to closely monitor the implementation of the Clean Water Act and other related local ordinances on tourism establishments, particularly homestays, which are popular lodging accommodations used by travelers where they are hosted by a local family.

“Let’s help make Pagudpud clean. This is for all of us. We need to help each other to ensure a sustainable tourism and environment,” Sales said, adding that the homestay establishments and restaurants will not be able to operate again if they will not comply with the provisions of the law.

Depending on the gravity of the offense, the tourism establishments, were closed ranging from 15 to 30 days and were given six months to comply.

According to Sales, the local government unit of Pagudpud will be conducting a public hearing with all resort owners in Pagudpud town to tackle a proposed ordinance requiring the establishment of a sewerage treatment facility before they can operate business.

Sales said every month, authorities conduct regular water quality test on different beaches of Pagudpud and there are times when the number of coliform is high.

Nonetheless, the town mayor said the beaches are “safe for bathing”.