(File photo)

The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) is set to reopen in December to local vaccinated visitors at a special reduced fee of P100 per person, its park superintendent said.

In an interview with Palawan News, Elizabeth Maclang, park superintendent (PASu) of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), announced that local visitors would be able to explore the subterranean river again beginning December 1.

“Nag-reopen tayo through [an] ordinance ng city kasi hiningi yan ng stakeholders. Yong P500 na regular fee ng PPUR ginawang P100. Kinausap rin natin yong CBST, and zipline na magbigay rin ng discount,” Maclang said.

“December 1 doon pa lang tayo mag-o-open for public for local tourist, for Palaweños [lang muna],” she added.

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According to Maclang, only roughly 700 of the 1,200 daily visitors will be permitted to strictly follow health requirements in order to avoid contracting COVID-19.

“Nag set muna kami ng 700 kasi 1,200 ang regular tour natin. Pati bangka may discount, imbes na walo magiging lima na lang for social distancing,” she said.

Local tourists may also arrange appointments in PPUR beginning December 1st, she said.

“Magbo-book sila dito sa PPUR sa December 1 or advance booking and i-co-coordinate namin sila doon sa Sabang. By December 1 ready kami kung sino man ang pumuntang bisita ay ready na i-cater ‘yong ating local tourist,” she said.

PPUR was forced to close to tourists in March of last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. After being closed for many months, it is finally reopening to local visitors.

Only for vaccinated visitors
Maclang pointed out that they would only accept vaccinated guests to avoid spreading COVID-19.

She explained further that allowing non-vaccinated would be unfair to those who have already received their jabs.

“Preferably nakabakuna. Hindi tayo puwedeng magtanggap ng walang bakuna kasi 99 percent ng mga tourism stakeholders ng Sabang ay bakunado na dahil sinunod natin ‘yong panawagan ng lungsod na dapat bakunado. Mas tayo dapat ay bakunado na rin,” she said.

Maclang also invites all Palaweños to explore other tourist attractions in Sabang. Anyone interested can take advantage of the lower price until December 31, 2021.

“Samantalahin na natin ‘yong pag reopen ng economy ng Puerto Princesa at kasama dyan ‘yong ating underground river at hanggang December 31 ay available ‘yong promo rates natin. Kung medyo bored na, punta tayo sa Sabang. Safe doon at sinusunod namin ‘yong minimum health protocols and contact tracing,” she said.

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