PN file photo
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The regular P500 permit and P150 environmental fees to enter the Underground River in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan would be reinstated on July 16.

This comes after the City Council approved the ordinance to restore the pre-pandemic fees now that the tourism sector situation has improved.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said all fees and discounts that were temporarily removed in 2021 when the “Balik Turismo, Balik Trabaho” campaign was launched to revive tourism will now be restored as part of their full operation.

In order to encourage locals to visit Underground River, Mayor Lucilo Bayron directed the park administration to lower the permit cost to P100.

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“Babalik na siya sa dati na P500. Kapag Puerto rate P300 kasi less 40 percent. Kapag Palaweño, less 20 percent discount. Yong environmental fee, sisingilin na rin na P150 per person. Pero kapag taga Puerto Princesa, libre naman–walang environmental fee na sinisingil,” she said.

“Sa senior citizen ng kabuuan na hindi taga Puerto, less 20 percent, pati yong mga persons with disabilities. Kapag senior citizen ng Puerto, libre talaga, walang bayad,” she added.

As part of its promotions to attract tourists to the World Heritage Site, accredited travel agencies will automatically provide travelers who book tours via them P100 as a discount.

Maclang said the Underground River’s guests no longer go down below 400. The recent highest visit they had was 900 when the Department of Education (DepEd) hosted the Philippine Youth Convention.

“Nag-i-income na rin ang park. Since January to June, almost malapit-lapit na kami sa P3 milyon. Kasi ang tourist arrivals natin, umabot din ng 34,000-40,000. Hindi na tayo bumababa ng 400 araw araw,” she said.

Other community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) sites in the park, such as Isla Felomina, Sabang Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour, and Hundred Caves, have already opened.

She said restoring the pre-pandemic fees will greatly help in maintaining the park and its personnel.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.