Tourist fees for man-made forest, 15 protected areas ‘on hold’

By J. Jala | 01:55 PM January 16, 2020

A relief for tourists, local and foreign alike.The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has temporarily suspended the implementation of the entrance fee collection at the Loboc-Bilar Man-Made Forest, and 15 other protected sites.Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Charlie Fabre said that he issued the order Tuesday placing the fee collection “on hold” pending a meeting this Friday.The meeting will be attended by Capitol officials and stakeholders in the tourism industry including tour operators and guides, he added.The temporary stoppage may last to up to two months depending on the resolution of the issues that beset the fee collection.Fabre said the Protective Area Management Board (PAMB) has implemented the overdue national law.The said DAO that amended DAO No. 1993-47 signed by then Environment Secretary Gina Lopez was adopted by PAMB for implementation.Fabre said the protected area management fund will be used for the improvement of facilities and other projects at the protected areas.The PAMB of the Loboc Watershed Forest Reserve (LWFR) implemented and collected entrance and parking fees at man-made forest last Monday.The fees are as follows: Entrance: Filipino, P30; student, P15; persons with disabilities and senior citizens, free as long as ID is presented; and foreigner, P100 apiece.Parking fees: Tricycle, P20 + P5 after 2 hours; cars/SUV, P45 first 2 hours + P10 succeeding hours; passenger bus/coaster, P60 first 2 hours + P20 succeeding hours; and mini-bus/tourist bus, P150 first 2 hours + P30 succeeding hours.P5,000 exclusive of entrance fee will be collected for video and photography for commercial use or using of professional equipment other than ( phones, point-and-shoot cameras, digital SLRs with basic lenses and attachments, handy cameras).However, the implementation of the fee collection last Monday faced public backlash especially through social media.

Man-made forest in Loboc and Bilar towns.

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