‘Coliform high in Panglao, El Nido beaches’
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — “Very high” levels of coliform have been found at popular resorts in Panglao in Bohol and in El Nido in Palawan, according to an inter-agency body tasked to monitor tourist attractions and ensure their compliance with environmental laws.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an interview that coliform count was 16,000 most probable number (mpn) at the Alona Beach in Panglao and 1,300 mpn at the Buena Suerte Beach in El Nido.

The coliform level found is much higher than the normal water quality of 100 mpn.

The other members of the inter-agency group are Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Puyat said they have already informed concerned local government officials about the problem.

In a meeting with local officials last Tuesday, the interagency body – along with socioeconomic chief Ernesto Pernia – gave assurance that concerned tourist attractions would only be rehabilitated and not closed.

She said that they have already told the city mayor of Panglao “to start informing the establishments” about the easement laws.

“The law says 20 meters, but the local government passed an ordinance last 2014, adding 10 meters. So it’s 30 meters. We hope that the current mayor will finally implement the easement,” Puyat said.

She also said local officials in El Nido have ordered the closure of more than 22 establishments found not complying with environmental laws.

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