Rep. Rene Relampagos, former House chairman of the committee on tourism emphasized the need for sustainable tourism development amidst reports of an underwater theme park to be built in Coron, Palawan.
In a statement, Relampagos said that while the country is always open to tourism developments that will spur the countryâ€™s growth, it is also committed to ensuring that projects and practices are sustainable.
Â â€œWe look forward to new sights, new adventures, and new offerings within our growing and booming tourism industry. However, we need to see to it that we are able to preserve our natural resources, that we donâ€™t damage natural ecosystems just for economic gains,â€ Relampagos said.
Early this week, it was reported that American children television network Nickelodeon will build an underwater resort and theme park in Coron, Palawan. Environmental groups and concerned citizens have expressed their opposition to the planned underwater theme park both online and offline. An online campaign against the infrastructure project has been launched in Bataris. As of press time, the said campaign has already garnered 204,608 signatures.
The House Committee on Tourism chairman during the 16th Congress has been very pleased with the response of people as it shows that Filipinos are now more conscious of environmental consequences and sustainable growth.
Â â€œThe publicâ€™s reaction to the news somehow reflects the consciousness that there is in them. We have become more concerned about our environment. We want to enjoy our natural resources and see the greatness of our rich biodiversity today and at the same time desire that the next generation will still be able to witness and experience what we currently have. And that is where sustainable tourism comes into the picture,â€ Relampagos said.
For Relampagos, taking into consideration the peopleâ€™s response, the country is on the right track in terms of tourism. But he continues to call for people to advocate for sustainability.
Â â€œLet this not be the end of our involvement in making sure that our tourism industry observes sustainability. We have tourism sites in our locality that also needs to be checked and it is our responsibility to make sure that we take part in efforts that will make our tourism growth and development more viable.â€