DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 June) – Mati City in Davao Oriental is planning to allow only one rave party a year in Region XI’s “surfing capital” to protect its environment from the deluge of tourists.
In an interview, Tanya Rabat-Tan, Mati investment promotions chief, said the city has become popular for its 7-kilometer Dahican strip beach line, which hosts surfing competitions that have drawn domestic and foreign tourists.
“We have to be careful to really take care of our environment. Si Mayor, baka, maybe the rave parties (would be held) just once a year, and no more. We’ll see,” she said.
But she also acknowledged that big events like the rave party and surfing competitions have put the city on the tourism map.
This year’s Summerfrolic held last June 1 to 2 attracted around 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, she said.
The official, however, believes that the problem is not just about rave parties because other tourists have the penchant to leave garbage, too.
“If there are tourists, there are wastes,” she said.
Tan said the city has implemented Solid Waste Integrated Management (SWIM) since last year to address the “exponential urban development and progress” there.
Under SWIM, the local government calls for a “comprehensive waste prevention, recycling, composting, and disposal program to protect human health and the environment.”
“Just like that rave party, we spoke with organizers if they could avoid plastic straws and plastic cups, and if they can use paper cups, instead. Then, they undertake clean-up drive after,” she said.
She said that tourists also have the responsibility to take care of the environment.
“The problem is the people. We cannot look after everyone. It’s a responsibility of the city, it’s a big responsibility and we are doing our best,” she added.
Last year, she said, Mati recorded a total of 292,000 tourists, almost a 9-percent increase from 35,000 in 2013.
Tan said Mayor Carlo Rabat wants to keep Mayo Bay and Pujada Bay clean by putting in place a sewage system and water treatment facilities.
“The seawater in Dahican was tested. It’s very clean, and we intend to preserve it and maintain it that way,” she said.
The official said several investors have shown interest to build accommodation facilities there.
At present, the city has 17 resorts 11 hotels, she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)