‘Bohol tourism to suffer amid Chocolate Hills controversy’

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
�Bohol tourism to suffer amid Chocolate Hills controversy�
Photo shows the Captain's Peak Garden and Resort

MANILA, Philippines — Bohol’s tourism will suffer amid the controversy involving the construction of a resort and other structures at the tourist attraction Chocolate Hills, according to an environmental scientist.

“It has an effect on tourism as the environment or the ecosystem was damaged or deteriorated. It will not be an attraction to tourism. Tourists will say the environment is no longer natural. The Chocolate Hills are no longer beautiful because of many structures,” Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology environmental science professor Hernando Bacosa said in a radio interview.

The negative feedback generated by the Captain’s Peak Resort will affect the image of the entire province, he noted.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources vowed to investigate other establishments operating at the Chocolate Hills amid reports there are other such structures within the protected area.

“If the natural beauty is altered, it affects tourism just like the oil spill in Mindoro last year. There were only statements on the possible oil spill off Puerto Galera and immediately after, many cancelled their reservation and it affected the tourism industry,” Bacosa recalled.

“The fauna and flora for sure were damaged because of the construction of structures in the area,” he added. The Chocolate Hills should be declared as a no build zone, he asserted.

“Many of our ecosystems in the Philippines were already so much degraded or destroyed. We have to protect our last standing natural resources for our future generation. We have to do something now before it gets too late,” Bacosa said.

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