El Nido clamps down on illegal boat operators

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu instructs all its departments to address issues that pertain to water and air pollution and solid waste management. (file photo)

The El Nido Travel and Tours Association (ENTTOA) is appealing to the municipal government to launch a crackdown on illegal tour agencies and boat operators in the town.

ENTTOA President Benly Lim said these tour operators are violating a municipal ordinance requiring tourist boats to secure a mayor’s permit and register with the El Nido Pumpboat Operators Association.

Lim said the same ordinance prohibits travel agencies to arrange island tours without municipal registration.

Allowing them to proliferate, he said, “would be unfair and unjust for us who are operating legally and compliant with the said ordinance.”

El Nido Mayor Nieves Rosento said the municipal government has already issued notices of delinquency to around 475 non-compliant tourism-related business establishments, including 119 boat operators and 57 travel agencies.

“When we checked our records, we found out that they failed to renew their business permits due to failure to pay their tax, so we issued them delinquency notices two weeks ago,” she told Palawan News on Monday, November 20.

Rosento said some have so far started with the process of renewing their business permit and settling their business tax.

“We’ve given them a certain number of days to comply, but if they continue violating and reach up to the third offense then we will proceed with the issuance of closure notice,” she added.

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