Samal Island Implements Environmental User Fee

2010 April 4

Admit One 596 Samal Island Implements Environmental User Fee

Samal Island has begun charging tourists an Environmental User Fee (EUF) effective April 1, 2010. This will only apply to non-residents visiting the island, including those there availing of the many adventures offered.

The hope is to raise P1 million annually to help offset sustainability programs which include the new eco-park sanitary landfill and waste water treatment facilities, among other necessities that are proposed. The cost of the Blue-Green ticket will only be P5, so it shouldn’t be too much of a burden to the the visitors. It is quite a bit lower than the P40 fee charged in other ecotourism areas, such as Luzon and the Visayas.

“This is in accordance to our City Ordinance number 156 series of 2009. The EUF is a sustainable revenue-generating mechanism for local governments which effectively allocates the responsibility for managing, developing, and protecting the environment by charging a fee to tourists and visitors for their use and enjoyment of the area,” Igacos City Mayor Aniano Antalan said.

Antalan encouraged that the Davao press and locals to spread the word on Igacos’ fee collection to avoid confusion when visitors are already in Igacos.

I suppose that this can been seen as a positive step for Samal Island in regards to generating income and helping to preserve the environment which makes it the natural wonder that it is. At the same time, I can see how local residents of the surrounding communities, such as Davao, Digos, Tagum, etc., would feel that it was an unnecessary fee to visit a place they frequent regularly. As long as the fee stays at a reasonable rate, and P5 is certainly reasonable IMO. then I don’t see any real issue. But we all know that fees have a way of increasing once they have been accepted, and they rarely, if ever, go down.

P5 fee to be collected from Igacos tourists | Sun.Star Network Online.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010

    Good day!

    Thanks for the map of Samal Island. It has been helpful on my work.

    You have a nice and informative site on Samal. Keep it up!

    • April 21, 2010

      Thanks for visiting and for for your nice comments about the site.

  2. johnny permalink
    February 28, 2011

    i have been travelling the philippine islands everytime i get the chance to have a decent vacation….and went into samal last 2 weeks ago…the island is wonderful though in a laid back kinda way….was wishing that everything would be accessible…yet…i find that there is a lot of fees that i would be paying before i get to enjoy the island…and quite a little bit expensive in a sense. i was able to stay in a resort near the town proper which is about 7 clicks from the ferry area where i was accommodated courteously…so i was just hanging out and overheard that thing called the euf…so i butted in and gave them my opinion as an ecotourist that its not that bad because elsewhere they are also having the same thing like environmental fee…but the gentlemen explained it to me that the version in the island is quite different from the other areas…they have no transparency in the collection and would be placed in a general fund and not only that, they have no clear cut plan on how to really implement the environmental protection and yet they would be implementing the fees soon…i ask them, where there prior consultation with the group that would be affected and was there a compromise with the proposed plan before they would do the action? was it beneficial for the island and the people who would be benefitting from it? sadly no…I was clearly not favoring those particulars that the government from the island is planning and I think more would suffer from trekking i would be paying, in biking i would be paying, if i do canoeing i would again pay, and if i do scuba or snorkling again i would be paying and least to say its is to be paid per day…and if i stay in the island for 3 days i would be charged 3x….its ridiculous. I dont want to say something ill with the way things are going…but its just plainly wrong….maybe they need more consultation, transparency and the decency of stating things specific…they broadcast it out that its for the environment when clearly its not…so to the group that was going against it…keep on doing what is right…better inform all the clients coming to your was good that i was able to hear the truth about it and mind you those guys were not BSing me.

    • February 28, 2011

      Hi Johnny – thanks for sharing your views.

      Personally I have not given the EUF a lot of thought after posting this article. I only ran into it that I was aware of when I visited Hagimit Falls. You could not access the road to get to Hagimit without paying the fee.

      I did notice a lot of signs that were against the fee. Particularly around the resorts. I was not clear if any of the resorts actually charged the fee or not. If so, it was included in the charges and not charged separately.

      As to what plan they have in place to use the funds collected, I have no idea on that, and whether the person you were speaking did or not is also unknown. I will agree that if it is not used for the purpose it is intended then it is wrong. Many obviously do feel it is a detriment to tourism there.

  3. johnny permalink
    February 28, 2011

    ps… its not only 5 pesos….they would charge if implemented, walking, trekking, canoeing, swimming, diving, biking…everything you would be doing in the island…guess the local tourists would find it disgusting.

  4. johnny permalink
    February 28, 2011

    thanks for sharing my views randy…i think this site would benefit the incoming tourists like me to be aware of it before they make it happen.

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