Puerto Princesa starts collecting Environmental Availment Fee

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, March 9 (PNA) – The City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) here has started collecting what is called the Environmental Availment Fee (EAF) from local and foreign tourists in compliance with Ordinance 487 that was passed and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod in August 2011.

A statement released by the City Information Office (CIO) through Information Officer Alroben Goh said the Ordinance stipulates that P40.00 shall be collected from domestic and foreign tourists who will visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River World Heritage Site, Honda Bay, Ugong Rock, Dolphin and Whale Shark Watching and other sites under the Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBCT) projects of the city government.

The EAF will be the visitors’ contribution to sustainably maintain these tourist attractions.

Funds that will be collected from EAF shall only be used for projects and programs that are related to tourism, such as the setting up of an eco-friendly energy sources (solar, hydro and wind facilities), and construction of eco-tourism facilities like coastal and mountain resort. It will also fund eco-friendly and environmentally clean transportation.

The statement said City Treasurer Corazon Abayari and the staff of her office are now doing the rounds of hotels, pension houses, lodging inns, and these tourist sites to explain the EAF to avoid confusion on what it is all about.

A special account for the EAF will be set up in the general fund of the city government to ensure its proper use, the statement said. (PNA)