(SPOT.ph) With more than 7,000 islands right in the tropics, the Philippines has a number of natural wonders that can top any other destination around the world. We have the most beautiful islands in Palawan, the most biodiverse coral gardens under the sea, and geographic formations that are like no other. Four new laws, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 22 and circulated to the press on August 29, declares four places in Luzon as tourist destinations—which won’t only boost their promotion, but also their development and protection.
This list includes Mount Bulaylay in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija (Republic Act 114076); the Candon City Ecotourism Zone in Ilocos Sur (Republic Act or RA 11407); Santiago Cove in Santiago, Ilocos Sur (RA 11408); and Pinsal Falls in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur (RA 11409).
With the signing of these laws, the Department of Tourism, in coordination with the local government units and other concerned agencies, is mandated within the year of approval to "prepare a tourism development plan involving the construction, installation, and maintenance of appropriate facilities and infrastructure that shall enhance tourism in the area." It is also emphasized that the plan "shall ensure the preservation and conservation of the natural beauty and resources of the area." The four Republic Acts also trace the boundaries of each tourist destination, specifying coordinates and exact measurement.
Funding shall come from the annual General Appropriations Act and from internally generated funds of the Department of Tourism.
For copies of the four laws, visit the website of the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.