El Nido to utilize tourism income for major projects

The municipal government of El Nido is revisiting its ordinance on eco-tourism development fund (ETDF) to specifically appropriate a funds for high-impact projects and programs.

According to Municipal Tourism Officer Arvin Acosta, the local government is proposing for the revision of El Nido Eco-Tourism Development Fee Ordinance of 2008, particularly on fund utilization which will appropriate a major portion to priority projects.

“In the proposed amendment, 45% would be allotted to big high impact projects, so that the community would really feel they are benefiting from it and that it would have a significant impact to environmental protection,” he said.

These include infrastructure projects, such as tourism facilities, museums, information centers, ranger stations, guard houses, and other tangible projects like patrol boats, and mooring and marker buoys.

Acosta said they also removed the 10% allocation for barangays.

“All of the barangays will just propose their projects. They will be ranked according to their performance in the fields of environment and tourism. Those which are active will be prioritized,” he said.

Under the revised ordinance, the sharing will be set as follows:15%-General Fund; 15% ETDF Administration Fund; 45%-Priority Projects Fund; 5%-Tourism Program Accounts; 5%-Coastal Resources Management Account; 10%-Environmental Law Enforcement Fund; and 10%-Protected Area Management Fund.

This would change the existing ordinance, with sharing set as follows: 15%-General Fund; 20%-ETDF Administration Fund; 10%-Barangay; 10%-Protected Area Office; and 45%-tourism, municipal environment and natural resources, and coastal resources management offices.

“In the existing ordinance, we can’t produce big high impact projects since the funds are chopped into many portions,” he added.

Last year, the tourism officer said the municipal government was able to collect P46 million in ETDF through tourist tickets.

Acosta said the draft ordinance is still under review by the technical working group, and will be sent to municipal board for deliberation in October.

One of the goal of the said ordinance is to establish sources of funding to finance conservation, protection and management of the coastal and aquatic resources, seascape, terrestrial and urban environment of El Nido.


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