The provincial government has vowed to probe into the reported anomaly in the collection of entrance and tour fees at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary in Busuanga, northern Palawan.
Joel Lumis, indigenous people’s representative in the provincial legislature, recently claimed that park personnel have not been issuing official receipts to tourists visiting the attraction
Lumis said he personally experienced the practice when he visited the park and was not issued official receipts for their expenses inside the facility.
“Nagbayad kami ng entrance fee na P200, kailangan mo pang humingi ng OR kasi hindi sila agad nag-iisue. Tapos may binabayaran tayo doon na jeep P1,000 ‘yung ang iikot sa park pero wala ring OR,” Lumis said.
Provincial Treasurer Elino Mondragon said his office will investigate Lumis’ complaint and vowed stiff sanctions against personnel who will be found responsible for the irregularity.
“Kapag mapatunayan ko na sila ay sangkot sa ganoong transaksyon ay agad ipatatanggal ko ‘yun. Immediately iti-terminate ko ‘yun sa serbisyo kasi hindi maganda ‘yun, hindi ‘yun yung dapat,” Mondragon said.
He said in accordance with the Local Treasurer’s Operation Manual, all payments and money transactions received by their office should immediately be issued an official receipt without the client demanding for it.
Mondragon clarified however that their extension office in Calauit only collects entrance fees from visitors and that the tour fees are collected by the management of the park.
“Kung pinapasok nila ng walang OR ay management ang may problema hindi kami kasi sila ang komokolekta ng tour fee at trabaho nila ‘yan na imonitor ang mga resibong hawak ng mga bisita,”he said.
Mondragon said this was the first time his office received a complaint about non-issuance of official receipts in Calauit, adding that they are now considering rotating the assignment of on their collecting officers.
“Ngayon kung ganyan pala ginagawa nila, dapat pantanggalin ang mga ‘yan dyan nagsisimula ang corruption eh, kapag napatunayan natin talagang may kalalagyan ang mga ito,” Mondragon added.
The provincial government has collected P2.4M from the entrance fee in Calauit for the period January to July 2017.