ADB offers assistance to develop El Nido, Coron
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend financing solutions for the development of sustainable tourism in El Nido and Coron in Palawan province.

The multilateral bank is now working with the Department of Tourism (DOT) on the preparation of a tourism development project that will equip these two fast-growing tourism destinations with sustainable urban facilities and means of protecting marine life.

El Nido and Coron are both known for their natural beauty and diverse marine life but environmental sustainability is threatened by the increasing number of tourists.

ADB said pursuing sustainability strategies would prepare these destinations for the influx of tourists visiting the islands over the next decade.

The bank’s partnership with the DOT is part of the agency’s transforming Communities Towards Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Tourism (TouRIST) Program, a joint effort by the national government and local government units with multilateral development banks in implementing sustainable tourism development in the country.

ADB will support the DOT-led program by offering solutions and financing to address the immediate need for vital urban infrastructure and services, such as solid waste management, drainage and sanitation, and clean drinking water in El Nido and Coron.

The bank will also help build the capacity of local stakeholders to protect the ocean and rehabilitate key biodiversity-based tourism sites. The project is planned for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2020.

To ensure that tourism benefits local communities, ADB will also explore innovative funding to local business enterprises and community-based groups for skills and product development to improve the quality of services in El Nido and Coron.

“This project is critically important for ADB because we share with the Philippine government the goal of seeing local economies thrive on an environmentally sustainable path. Tourism, when managed properly, can be a catalyst for inclusive development that can lift residents of El Nido and Coron out of poverty,” said Kelly Bird, ADB country director for the Philippines.

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