The Palawan Tourism Council (PTC) is asking for a compromise agreement with government agencies, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to ease the challenges that tourism establishments face every time they renew their operating permits

PTC treasurer Deborah Tan raised the concern during their oath-taking ceremony last Wednesday at the provincial capitol, saying issues like Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) has become a perennial problem for them.

She said that they are grateful for the city and provincial governments’ support, but they are also looking for someone to lean on, especially in the tourism offices.

“Marami pa tayong challenges na dapat i-overcome and one of these is our constant battle as a private sector with DENR–ECC, easement among others. They just nitpick every little thing na pwede,” Tan said.

“What I am asking is, sana mag-hold ng constant dialogues between the government and the private sector,” she added.

Tan particularly mentioned the establishments that were constructed within easement zones declared by the DENR where she said investors spent millions of pesos, especially in the islands, which she explained was made before the ruling came out, referring to the 40-meter easement from the sea.

She said one move that can be done is for the business establishments to be able to get back their investments before they demolish the establishment.

“So if they [can] have a compromise like return of investment first, give them like seven years man lang para kumita yung ginawa nila na mga cottages. Ganoon din sa amin sa mga beach resorts and even dito sa aming mga properties in the city,” she explained.

She added that the grace period would be enough compromise for them to fix the problem.

“Ang mahihiling lang namin ay sana, mag-arbiter ang city government, provincial government, for all these problems,” she stated.

Meanwhile, City Tourism Office chief Demetrio Alvior Jr. said they already had an audience once with the DENR as they also have encountered problems regarding the Community Based Sustainable Tourism sites in Puerto Princesa.

“So yun nga, kailangan mag-compromise kasi nga existing na yung iba bago lumabas yung batas.Kasi before, nasanay tayo na gawa lang ng gawa and pag nasita, mahirap na baguhin.” He said, adding that the talks led to a win-win solution as they were able to identify what needs to be done.

“Pinagharap namin para alamin kung ano yung pwedeng ayusin, baka pwedeng ayusin o mai-consider at yung hindi talaga pwede, yun ang aalisin,” he added.

He also said that if there was one positive effect of the pandemic, it was because everything was closed, they were able to identify the errors.

“So it was like we took a step back and realized there was something wrong so that was also where we started and fixed,” he said.