Palaui Island may soon reopen to tourists
The governing body of the Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS) is eyeing for the reopening of the renowned tourist destination in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
In its meeting held on March 12, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) discussed the safety measures, health protocols and other necessary requirements that should be complied with before resumption of tourism activities in the protected area.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 executive director and PAMB chairperson Gwendolyn Bambalan said minimum health and safety protocols should be strictly enforced to ensure health of tourists and local residents.
All ecotourism activities at the PIPLS have been suspended since the declaration of public health emergency in March last year due to the threat of COVID-19.
“As much as we want the tourism industry to recover and to help local residents bounce back against the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not start the operation without all the necessary preparation,” the regional environment chief said. She requested the ecotourism committee of the PAMB chaired by the Department of Tourism to meet and polish the guidelines.
The PAMB chairperson told the public, resort owners and boat operators that the island is still closed for tourism activities meantime that the PAMB has not passed a resolution for the reopening.
Following the PAMB meeting, Director Bambalan together with Cagayan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ismael Manaligod and Aparri Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ilarde Viernes toured around the protected area to assess its readiness to accept tourists.
The island covers 8,048 hectares with 1,008 ha coral reefs, 472 ha of seagrasses and 102 ha mangrove. In 2019, the marine protected area was awarded outstanding National Integrated Protected Area System-Marine Protected Area in Para El MAR: MPA Awards and Recognition.#