PIA Press Release
Friday, January 13, 2012
Env'l availment fee to be imposed soon for tourists in Puerto Princesa Cityby Vicky S. Mendoza
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, Jan. 13 (PIA) -- The city government will soon impose an Environmental Availment Fee (EAF) to tourists with the approval of City Ordinance No. 487 sponsored by the Committee on Tourism chaired by Councilor Erwin Edualino.
Section 5 of the ordinance fixed the EAF at P40 per visitor, whether local or foreigner, who will avail of the facilities in the following areas: Puerto Princesa Underground River, Honda Bay, Ugong Rock, Dolphin and whale shark watching and the other community-based sustainable tourism projects entered into by the city government.
Rebecca Labit, chief of the city tourism department, in an interview said that the department is in full support of the ordinance and its implementation which begins as soon as the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is completed.
The EAF serves as the contribution of tourists to the efforts of the local government to continuously protect and conserve the environmental sceneries.
The ordinance states that the EAF shall be utilized solely for eco-tourism purposes, specifically on the establishment of facilities for renewable energy, construction of eco-tourism facilities like coastal and mountain resorts, and the establishment of environmentally-clean means of transport.
Labit said that the ordinance is an important piece of legislation that complements the booming tourism industry providing for sustainability and competitiveness of the five sites mentioned in the ordinance.
She said that the IRR will secure that the interpretation of the ordinance is clear and not vague especially in the aspects of collection and fund administration of the EAF. (LBR/VSM/PIA-Palawan)