Sep 30, 2020

Tourism-dependent village of Panggangan faces hard times

Nowadays and with tourism activity in the top city tour destination coming to a halt in the wake of the pandemic, the community is facing difficulties.

Barangay New Panggangan, located in the northwestern edge of the city boundary bordering San Vicente town, used to thrive on the active tourism economy of the Underground River, supplying fish and vegetables mostly to tourists.

Nowadays and with tourism activity in the top city tour destination coming to a halt in the wake of the pandemic, the community is facing difficulties.

“Naapektuhan kami. Kasi hindi na nila kinuha ‘yong mga gulay namin kasi wala naman turista at hindi na malakas ‘yong income ng tourism, Jonalyn Figues, a community organizer in barangay New Panggangan, told Palawan News.

“Sa pangingisda naman, ganon din. Bumaba ang price ng isda, may time pa na may ibinalik sa amin na isda kasi hindi na kinuha ng Sabang,” she added.

The closure of PPUR due to the pandemic, she said, has affected all the Community Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) sites and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP).

New Panggangan had previously established itself as a supplier of fish and vegetables to the port of Sabang in barangay Cabayugan for the demands of establishments around the area.

Figues lamented that since the crisis began, they have been forced to sell their produce to nearby communities such as in Sto. Niño, in Old Panggangan at a low price.

 

“Binibigay na talaga siya sa mababang presyo para hindi mabulok at hindi masayang tapos nagiging libre sila sa konsumo nila sa araw-araw. Dati ang benta namin ng patola ay pumapalo ng P80, ngayon binibenta na lang siya ng P60 o P50 depende sa laki at kilo,” she said.

The community used to sell their pechay and ribbed loofah or patola from 25 to 30 kilos per delivery which ranges at least thrice a week.

“Ngayon per tali na lang kami dito, five pesos pero tali pero dahil sa COVID. Hindi na sila nagtuloy-tuloy ng tanim ng pechay. Tumigil siya sa pagtatanim kasi hindi na nabibenta kasi halos lahat din ng mga tao dito ay maliit na garden ng pechay,” she said.

Figues advised the community members to continue planting vegetables to also supply the demand of its own community.

Barangay captain Gleceria Obenza said that even the fish are being sold at low prices.

“Hindi tulad ng dati na meron talaga maibenta sa labas, dito kasi nasa mababa lang ang presyo. Tulad ng Danggit, Isdang Bato, Tulingan. Nong wala pa COVID, ang bilihan talaga ay P100 ang Danggit ‘yong bilihan pero ngayon na nagka-COVID, P40 o P50, kalahati tapos gasolinahan pa nila ‘yan. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin sila (mangisda) kasi wala rin choice na walang kita sila, mahirap din,” she said.

Obenza has appealed to the city government to provide other livelihood opportunities to the community.

 

Share your vote!


How do you feel about this post?
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry