A concerned tourist expressed her dismay over irresponsible jet ski adventurers in the marine protected areas of El Nido town, located in northern Palawan, on June 9.
Mariel Ferrer, a diver-tourist who is part of a group of four Argentinians and a child, stated that on June 8, they were accommodated at the Pangalusian Island Resort in El Nido.
“Yesterday, we left the PIR around 1 p.m. and then we went to kandungan Island. So right when we approached the Kandungan Island, we were surprised because I saw nine jet skis. I counted all of them. Then I saw a big ski boat,” Ferrer said to Palawan News.
Ferrer then inquired with their assigned tour guide whether the jet skis were permitted to roam around Kandungan Island, which they believed to be included in the designated protected marine area.
“Are they allowed (jet skiing) to be here? Can they really do it here? I never saw a jet ski in El Nido. I know how bad is this for the environment,” Ferrer said.
She mentioned that even their tour guide agreed and expressed surprise at the presence of the jet skis in the vicinity of Kandungan Island.
“I was just looking at them. I noticed they were all Pinoys (Filipinos). So I had the impression, I’m sure they are connected (to someone) in government. I am a diver that’s why I know it’s not allowed,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer stated that the irresponsible jet ski users continued to roam around Kandungan Island for several minutes, much to the dismay of other tourists who were disturbed by the noise of the engines.
After leaving Kandungan Island, they proceeded to explore the nearby islands and eventually made their way to Snake Island.
“They left Kandungan Island in fast speed. They appeared annoying and arrogant to other tourists in the island because of the loud noise,” Ferrer said.
“They had passed near the people who were swimming to display their jetski. They did not show any care to people who were swimming in the area,” she added.
She said that she was accompanied by senior citizens who were afraid to go swimming due to the presence of the jet skis.
Ferrer added that the jet ski riders had brought along two large containers of petroleum gasoline, which emitted a strong smell when passing by them. This smell discouraged them from going swimming.
“They were into the shallow part. In Snake island, you can take a walk but because it’s high tide up to my chest level, the jet skis were there,” Ferrer said.
She added that the jet skis stayed some more minutes in the Snake Island and parked and roamed.
“We only had a swim in Snake Island after the jet skis left. We felt like they had put dirt in the waters of Snake island,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer said when they went back to El Nido town proper, she tried to look for a forum where she could report the incident but failed.
Under her post on El Nido Eel, a private group on social media, netizens were commenting about the jet ski riders being from Iloilo.
“Pag taga El Nido, magkamali lang ng kunti violation agad ito porke’t taga iloilo wala man lang nagbabawal dahil mga mayayaman cla!😪 dapat walang ganon…,” a netizen posted as a comment.