Aside from the usual fees used payed during the trips like fare, food, lodging and tour packages; some places charge for Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF). This is new to the the TheTwoBrokeGirls because it was our first time in Palawan. For us to be enlightened we checked the ever reliable GOOGLE SEARCH, and this is what we read.
“The collection of Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) in El Nido supports environmental protection, tourism development, thus ensuring that the beautiful sceneries the visitors admire and enjoy remain the same, if not, even further improved.
El Nido Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim said this in yesterday’s interview where some walk-in foreign tourists resort to renting tents with all pension houses and inns fully booked until end of February.
Lim said the ETDF made it possible for the municipality to purchase three portable toilets which will be deployed in frequently-visited islands for the comfort of the tourists and, essentially, for the cleanliness and sanitation of the islands and the beach.
She said that the ETDF is used in the waste segregation and disposal of El Nido where new sets of trash bins are placed in major streets in the town center and along the stretch of the beach. The bins come in three colors to differentiate the biodegradable, non-biodegradable and plastics.
Lim said that the fees collected also fund environmental projects like the Reef Watch, a project conducted with the local NGO that collects garbage left by tourists in the islands and end up underwater. About five mooring buoys have already been installed by the ETDF fund. It also supports the operation of the marine sanctuaries identified in the barangay.
In 2008, the Sangguniang Bayan of El Nido approved an ordinance imposing a fee for all visitors such as P200 for non-Palawan residents, P100 for Palawan residents and P50 for student visitors.
Since then, the municipal government gathers an average of P3 million annually from ETDF. The ordinance also states the sharing scheme for the collection. 50 percent is for tourism and environmental projects, 20 percent are for administrative expenses, 10 percent are for all barangays, 10 percent is for the Protected Area Office of the Protected Area Management Board and 10 percent is for General Fund. (LBR/VSM/PIA-Palawan)”
Photo from Lakas ng Trip
The official receipt of the ETDF… Wow I’m an American citizen! 🙂