DOT condemns vandalism incident in Baguioâs Bamboo Ecopark
This undated photo shows the Bamboo Ecopark, Baguio City
Edgardo Manda/Facebook

DOT condemns vandalism incident in Baguio’s Bamboo Ecopark

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 11, 2020 - 9:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Wednesday condemned the recent vandalism incident in the Bamboo Ecopark, Baguio City, which led to its temporary closure.

On Monday, Edgardo Manda, president of Philippine Bamboo Foundation Inc. announced the temporary closure of the ecopark due to the vandalism incident.

“Some visitors do not respect the place and have defaced bamboo culms (or poles) by engraving their names and relieving themselves along the pathway,” he said in a Facebook post.

The bamboo haven located at St. Francis Xavier Seminary in Liteng, Pacdal is a known tourist destination in the city often likened to Kyoto Japan’s Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

This ecopark is part of the envisioned one million-hectare bamboo plantation which is part of the country’s commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to reforest 20 million hectares by 2020 to improve the environment.

Baguio City government earlier reported that bamboos have properties for carbon sequestration, at least 12 tons per hectare per year, and release oxygen into the environment.

Following the vandalism incident, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat asked travelers who are planning to visit tourism destinations in the country that have reopened to practice responsible tourism at all times.

“The DOT shall continue to work with local government units, private stakeholders, and relevant tourism in intensifying its advocacy for sustainable tourism in the country,” she said in a statement.

After months of closure amid the COVID-19 quarantine, Baguio City reopened its doors to tourists from general community quarantine areas in Luzon last October 22.

The local government unit of Baguio City is requiring tourists to register on the city’s tourist monitoring platform VISITA app, submit negative RT-PCR swab confirmatory test results, itinerary, travel authority, and accommodation details to be allowed entry.

Puyat sees the gradual reopening of the tourist destinations to boost domestic tourism revival.

“We wish to remind tourists of the important role they hold in ensuring the survival of the tourism industry amid the pandemic,” the tourism chief added.

BAGUIO CITY BERNADETTE ROMULO–PUYAT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
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