March 1, 2024

City Councilor Elaine Sembrano is calling for the review of the Summer Capital’s tourism program and for it to be re-designed towards a clearly defined goal.
Sembrano, city council tourism committee chair, expressed such sentiment due to the alleged “deep disappointment that our own residents have felt whenever tourists come in big numbers.”
“In recent days, we have heard much talk on the adverse effects that tourism is bringing into our midst. Whenever huge crowds of tourists are here, especially during big events, the complaints become loud and clear: There’s too much traffic all over.  I would rather stay home.  Garbage is everywhere. The plants in our parks, especially Burnham Park, have wilted and are destroyed,” she said.
Sembrano said the city’s natural environment, its primary asset in the tourism program, needs to be responsibly taken care of to make it nourishing, relaxing, and life-sustaining. 
“To be sure, the negligence of past years has become too evident for comfort. We should do our part to regulate the pace and quality of economic development, brought about by having too much and too soon in economic progress,” the councilor said.
She said the city’s natural environment is currently experiencing an alarming downslide and deteriorating condition.
“Let us begin to make hard choices, between having to make do with what has been traditionally done and doing what must be done to make a tourist-driven development that is in harmony with what can best serve the environment,” Sembrano said.
Included in the city government’s 15-point collective core agenda are responsible tourism and revitalizing the environment. – Gaby Keith