VISIT other local ecotourism sites in the country for relaxation.
This is the advised of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to the public in the midst of the temporary closure of the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, which became the go-to “relaxation site” of many when quarantine restrictions were relaxed.
“Those living in nearby provinces who wish to rejuvenate their minds and bodies need not go to Manila just to see the dolomite beach. There are many ecotourism sites available in your localities for your enjoyment,” Cimatu said, as he encouraged the public to explore and discover these areas.
According to Cimatu, there are equally captivating ecotourism sites located in protected areas (PAs) established under the National Integrated Protected Areas System through Republic Act (RA) 7586, as amended by RA 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018.
He reiterated that “health protocols must be observed while visiting these sites to ensure the safety of the visitors while enjoying the tours.”
“Those visiting PAs should expect to undergo the screening process and adhere to existing COVID-19 safety guidelines,” Cimatu added.
PAs are managed by their respective Protected Area Management Boards (PAMB) through the PA Management Offices (PAMO).
The rules and regulations issued by the concerned local government units for the safety of the tourists are also implemented in ecotourism sites within the PAs.
With the enactment of RA 11038, 94 protected areas (PAs) were added to the roster of legislated PAs, bringing the number to a total of 107.
This means, Cimatu added that prospective travelers have “a vast array of places to choose from.”
In September and October 2021, the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), United Nations Development Fund-Biodiversity Finance Project (BIOFIN), and Department of Tourism have conducted a three-part webinar series dubbed “Ecotourism in Protected Areas: Towards Green Recovery.”
The webinar discussed the impacts of the global pandemic on ecotourism, lessons on post-pandemic ecotourism recovery strategies, and how to encourage the participants to be responsible travelers.