President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has called for the adoption of eco-friendly practices while the country continues to promote Siargao Island as a premier surfing destination on the global stage.
Marcos made the call in a speech delivered by his youngest son, William Vincent Marcos, during the opening ceremony of the 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup at Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island on Thursday.
“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,” he said.
Marcos lauded the holding of the surfing cup, saying it would help boost local tourism and provide Siargaonons with more opportunities, as well as green and sustainable livelihood.
The event, he said, also reinforces Siargaonons’ perseverance and efforts to ensure the island’s recovery from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Super Typhoon Odette in recent years.
Marcos assured that the government continues to pursue developmental efforts, such as the New Siargao Airport Development Project, to support tourism and trade growth of the island.
He noted that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has also initiated a program for Odette-hit towns to strengthen their adaptive capacities and resilience to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.
“It also remains vital to support responsible fishing practices, purchase sustainably-sourced seafood, and opt for eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products,” Marcos said.
“Our government remains staunch in its commitment to supporting Siargao Island in your efforts to achieve economic recovery and sustainable development,” he added.
Marcos said he looks forward to the continued growth and prosperity of the annual surfing competition, as well as the preservation of Siargao’s rich legacy in the global surfing community.
He urged tourists and locals to support government initiatives for the development of Siargao and celebrate the culture and values of surfing.
At least 100 professional surfers from Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Sweden, and the Philippines converged in Siargao for the prestigious surfing event.
The tournament is a Qualifying Series 3000 sanctioned by the World Surf League, presented by House Speaker Martin Romualdez in partnership with the Gen. Luna municipality and the Department of Tourism.
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. (PNA)