Provincial Tourism Officer, Mr. Cle Bern Paglinawan gives his welcome remarks and enjoins the participants to explore CarCap and actively participate in the 3-day training workshop.

Let Siquijor soar! The attendees of the “Capability-Building on the Determination of Carrying Capacity for Sustainable Tourism” made a commitment to cooperating in order to protect Siquijor, their mythical island.

Group photo opportunity with participants of the CarCap Training for the Siquijor Province Tourism Stakeholders

The Provincial Tourism Office of Siquijor Province tapped the technical assistance of the Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) relative to the provincial LGU’s plan to determine and implement the carrying capacity towards sustainable tourism in the island.

The three-day capability building exercise took place in Siquijor, Siquijor, in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall from July 13 to July 15, 2022. Thirty-five tourism stakeholders and municipal/provincial LGU representatives from the relevant planning and development offices, tourism offices, and tourist police unit participated in the activity.

Attorney Dale Louis Tudtud, Chief of Staff to the Governor, attended the opening ceremony and spoke with assurance that the province’s tourism industry will rebound and surpass pre-pandemic visitor numbers. Atty. To secure the viability of tourism in Siquijor, Tudtud advocated the implementation of carrying capacity. He further stated that one of the province’s main economic drivers is tourism.

Atty. Dale Louis Tudtud, Chief of Staff to the Provincial Governor, graces the inaugural ceremony and expresses confidence that the province’s tourism industry will recover and surpass pre-pandemic tourist arrivals.

CRERDEC Science Researchers Chona M. Tura and Joselito T. Sumabat discussed the fundamental ideas and principles of CarCap; physical evaluation of soil, water, structures, and transportation; assessment of terrestrial biodiversity; socio-economic survey; and CarCap computations. The ideas for integrating classroom learning with field experience were also put into practice by the participants. They applied their new knowledge into practice by doing one-on-one interviews and practical field exercises involving vegetation surveys in order to collect first-hand information.

CRERDEC Center Head Jose Isidro Michael T. Padin also provided an overview of the coastal vulnerability assessment and subjects connected to the assessment of marine biodiversity.

Clockwise from top: ERDB-CRERDEC Center Head, Jose Isidro Michael T. Padin presents the methods of conducting the marine biodiversity assessment and the overview of coastal vulnerability assessment as applied in CarCap determination; RDU Head, Ms. Chona M. Tura discusses the Socio-Economic Survey (SES) component of Carrying Capacity; and TTPEU Head, Joselito T. Sumabat presents the Overview, Basic Concepts of Carrying Capacity and Biophysical Characterization.

Mr. Cle Bern Paglinawan, the Provincial Tourism Officer of Siquijor, led the formulation  of an action plan on the third day of the training. It was decided that the attendees at the training would serve as the CarCap Technical Working Group (TWG) and be in charge of launching the project’s relevant activities.

The participants measure the easement zone of the Cambugahay Falls during the field practicum.

The promotion of CarCap technology is essentiall and timely given that tourist destinations are gradually reopening under the new normal. Many tourists have started to visit Siquijor as a result of the introduction of stricter regulations to control visitor arrivals and activities on Boracay island. As a result, authorities and training participants believed that a coordinated effort is needed to maintain and protect the natural resources on Siquijor Island.

Given that tourist attractions are gradually reopening under the new normal, the promotion of CarCap technology is essential and timely. Following the implementation of stricter regulations to control visitor arrivals and activities on Boracay island, many tourists have turned their attention to Siquijor. As a result, officials and training participants believed that coordinated action is required to preserve and protect Siquijor Island’s natural resources. The participants chanted in unison, “Let us work hand in hand to sustain Siquijor’s beauty and wealth. Let us do CarCap,” expressing their common goal. ARASagarino, CRERDEC