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Hotels, beach resorts suspected of dumping waste in Mactan Sea

Vol. XXII, No. 44 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Thursday, September 25, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

CEBU — Hotels and beach resorts on Mactan Island are suspected of polluting the sea, and the government is monitoring them for their waste disposal methods.

A view of Cebu City, Mactan Island and Bohol Island — Bw File Photo

Alan Aranguez, regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), has written the Cebu City government that they were monitoring all beach resorts on the island.

The EMB has tested 26 of the country’s most popular beaches for feces and intestinal bacteria and discovered that a third did not meet government water quality standards.

Mactain Island lies a few kilometers to the southeast of Cebu Island. The island is part of the province of Cebu and is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova.

The island is connected to Cebu by the two bridges, one of which is the Marcelo Fernan Bridge (Mactan II Bridge).

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country’s second busiest airport, is on Mactan Island.

Cebu City Councilor Arsenio Pacaña has filed a resolution urging the bureau to ensure that the waters off Mactan island are safe and hygienic and free from contamination.

He pointed out that other than the natural beauty of beaches, their cleanliness can become an additional selling point for beach resorts in attracting more tourists.

He added that the bureau should complement the efforts of the Department of Tourism in promoting Cebu’s beaches as safe and clean for swimming and diving by examining the water annually. He also urged the hotels to focus on ecological policies and activities to sustain the tourism industry.

Only Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort in Lapu-Lapu City has been included on the list of 81 green hotels by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The other hotel is El Nido Resort in Palawan province.

The distinction is given to hotels that adopt green hotel standards, such as the use of environment-friendly products, collaboration with the community and local government units, solid waste management, energy and water efficiency, wastewater treatment, and management of toxic and chemical substance disposal. — Ghea R.M. Tenchavez

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