The Ilocos Norte provincial government opened the so-called— the First waterpark in Northern Luzon — at the legendary Paoay Lake national park in Suba, Paoay town amid still unchecked presence of e-coli bacteria.
The environment department before the January 30 opening earlier warning to defer” water contact activities” due to the presence of the harmful bacteria.
Although the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the provincial government an Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC),
such permit was issued before a water testing that showed the lake has a high level of contamination and is unfit for swimming.
Provincial environment and natural resources officer Victor Dabalos confirmed to the government run-Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the waterpark may open without “bathing activities”. “We were directed by our regional office to monitor the opening on Sunday afternoon and report back to the region our observation after the activity,” Dabalos was quoted as saying.
Raring to spur up tourism in the province however, Aianree Raquel, head of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, argued that visitors may still have fun and enjoy the waterpark without dipping into the lake waters.
A lot of fun activities aside from the inflatable island is offered at the waterpark, the official added.
The Ilocos Norte provincial government expecta the P26.1M waterpark to attract visitors and boost the province’s investment potential.
The water quality monitoring report and results of laboratory analysis of the Paoay Lake on January 21 bared that the lake water is highly contaminated with E. coli bacteria exceeding the “standard for Class C waters” and not fit for swimming.
The presence of the bacteria ranging from 5,400 mpn (most probable number) in one sampling station to 160,000 mpn in another station means “the area is good for fishing and boating only”, PENRO Dabalos has earlier said.
To lure locals to try, the water park management offer play pass tickets with P200 discount from the initial promo rate of P349 for two hours, P399 for half-day, and P499 for a whole day pass.