President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called for the adoption of eco-friendly policies in Siargao, which is being promoted as a prime surfing destination, as the island braces for an expected tourism influx.
In his speech read by his son, William Vincent Marcos, for the 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup on Wednesday, the Chief Executive stressed the importance for local government unit (LGU) in the island to implement sustainable tourism practices.
“As we embark on this new chapter, I enjoin everyone to promote surfing and adopt eco-friendly practices that will help us protect and conserve our environment,” he said.
Siargao has experienced resurgence as a tourist site after the pandemic and the impact of super typhoon “Odette” (international code name: Rai) in 2021.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported the island welcomed 14,404 visitors for the first semester of the year.
The number of tourists in Siargao is expected to increase before the end of the year as it hosted the 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup held at Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island this month.
The government wants to further boost tourism in Siargao by improving its infrastructure and “gateway access,” which includes the New Siargao Airport Development Project.
To help accommodate Siargao’s increasing tourists, it launched “Training on Homestay Pilipinas Program,” which trained residential owners on the island in hosting tourists.
There are also efforts by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to boost the island’s resilience against climate-related hazards and natural disasters in Odette-hit towns.
Marcos also assured his administration would continue to help in the development of Siargao.
“Our government remains staunch in its commitment to supporting Siargao Island in your efforts to achieve economic recovery and sustainable development,” he said.