[Published on BusinessWorld, June 24, 1997]
The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) Region 6 director Edwin G. Trompeta recently warned of a decline in visitor arrivals in Boracay Island due to cancellation of tours.
In a report to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 director Raoul T. Geollogue, Mr. Trompeta attributed this development to a news article in another daily claiming the island’s water is not safe for bathing due to contamination by harmful microorganisms. The report claimed water test samples taken by the DENR showed high levels of coliform bacteria in the island’s beach front and in two of its deep wells. These bacteria normally come from human excreta.
The PTA said approximately 208 resort operators on the island, and the three property developers in the area, Fil-Estate Land, Inc., Primetown Development Corp. and Ayala Land Corp., have warned of the negative effects of the purportedly erroneous article.
DENR had earlier said the report, which was incomplete, was taken out of context.
Mr. Geollogue said the report showed high levels of coliform bacteria were limited to a three-month period spanning October to December last year.
Thus, it did not represent the general water quality of the island. He said DENR requires at least one year of monitoring to make a conclusion on the island’s water quality.
“The high level of coliform during the said period was not unusual because it was the peak season of the island’s bathing activity,” he said.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Resorts lost P6.5M due to Boracay row (1997)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Boracay developers not worried over contamination controversy (1997)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Boracay resorts face endless problems (1998)