El Nido Mayor Nieves Rosento has urged the town’s legislative body to craft an amendment to their existing regulations penalizing violations committed by tour operators, specifically the prohibition of overnight camping in islands.
Speaking before some 100 tourism stakeholders including travel and tour agencies on Thursday, Rosento noted that the fines imposed under their existing ordinance is minimal and has not discouraged the prohibited tour practices.
“Ang tigas ng mga travel and tours, alam nilang we are banning all the camping in the islands, meron pa ring gumagawa,” she said.
Rosento called for an amendment to the ordinance by increasing penalties on violations.
“Kung ako ang tatanungin ay suspension ng tours ang ipapatupad, because another rape case in El Nido ay hindi na po ‘yan makatarungan. Automatic 10 to 15 days suspension na ‘yan kung sila ay mag-camping,” she said.
“Pero hindi natin ‘yan magagawa sa ngayon kasi ang existing policy is only P1 thousand fine para sa first offense. Napaka-mura. Kailangang e- amend,” she added.
Mayor Rosento admitted that several travel and tour operators still do camping in islands and pay a fine of P1 thousand.