President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reminded Siargaonons and tourists alike on Wednesday to adopt eco-friendly practices while they continue to promote Siargao Island as a prime surfing destination.

“As we embark on this new chapter, I enjoin everyone to promote surfing and adopt eco-friendly practices that will help us protect and conserve our environment,” Marcos said in his speech during the opening ceremony of the 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup held at Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island. 

The President was represented by his youngest son, William Vincent Marcos, as the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the event.

Apart from putting Siargao visible on the map, President Marcos highlighted the event also reinforces the perseverance of the people of Siargao in building back and recovering from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Super Typhoon Odette in the recent years.

“Let me further emphasize that this competition also reinforces the indomitable spirit of the people of Siargao. Considering the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Super Typhoon Odette on the Island, I am truly moved by your efforts to bounce back and move forward through your festivities,” he said.

President Marcos also noted that locals should continue to support responsible fishing practices, purchase sustainably-sourced seafood, and opt for eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products. 

Siargao is renowned as the surfing capital of the Philippines and is home to some of the best beaches in Asia. 

It ranked 10th among the Top Islands in Asia for the Condé Nast 2023 Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. 

The chief executive also encouraged them to support in government initiatives for the development of Siargao. Among these programs is the Training on Homestay Pilipinas, which enlightens residential owners about the formal and systematic procedures to accommodate tourists, he said.

According to President Marcos, the government continues to pursue developmental efforts such as the New Siargao Airport Development Project to support tourism and trade growth of the island. 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also initiated a program for Odette-hit towns to strengthen their adaptive capacities and resilience to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. 

“I look forward to the continued growth and prosperity of this annual competition as well as the perpetuation of your rich legacy in the global surfing community,” President Marcos said. 

“Our government remains staunch in its commitment to supporting Siargao Island in your efforts to achieve economic recovery and sustainable development. Let us, therefore, unite as one to bring forth a greener, more secure, and more progressive Philippines for all,” he added. | PND

Photo Courtesy of PCO