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Hike in PPUR entrance fee rates starts March 1, 2017
« on: January 13, 2017, 03:27:33 PM »
Hike in PPUR entrance fee rates starts March 1, 2017
By Celeste Anna R. Formoso

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Beginning March 1, this year, entrance fees at the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan will increase for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Jan Elmer Badilla, spokesperson of the PPUR management, said Thursday, the PHP175 entrance fee for domestic visitors and the PHP250 for foreign tourists will be PHP500.

Guests of a resident of the province will be charged PHP300 entrance fee.

On the other hand, PHP400 will be charged to a guest who will enter the park through the help of travel agencies.

Badilla said entrance fee rate for children, from three to 12 years old, will remain at PHP100.

He explained that the hike in entrance fees will be used to upgrade the facilities of the longest navigable river park.

The PPUR is more than 24 kilometers long and contains an 8.2 kilometers underground section of the Cabayugan River.

“Since 2007, the PPUR has been non-internal revenue allotment (IRA) dependent, and its income has always been the entrance fees. The expenses of PPUR are mainly for conservation and protection of the environment. At the rate things are going, right now, the expenses are bigger than the entrance fees that the PPUR is collecting,” Badilla explained to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He added that, “if the park management exhausts the funds it is generating with the current entrance fee, it will go bankrupt when tourists are no longer interested to visit.”

With the increase in entrance fees, the PPUR can have a “sinking fund, or a fund formed by periodically setting aside money for the gradual repayment of a debt or replacement of a wasting asset.”

“The idea is to have a sinking fund. If you visit now, you can help in the sustainability of the PPUR as a World Heritage Site (WHS),” he said, explaining further that the sinking fund would be like a “savings or a trust fund.”

Every year, there will be funds left in the PPUR account to guarantee the sustainability of its management programs even if there is no source of income.

“It is also part of the transformative tourism plan of the PPUR. We want every tourist to not just enjoy the underground river but to also take part in the sustainable management of its resources for the benefit of the future generations,” Badilla stated.

The PPUR entrance fees will cover the use of paddle boat, hard hat, and life vest by the visiting guest.

Also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), the PPUR is a protected area in Palawan, located about 80 kilometers north of the capital City of Puerto Princesa.

The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island. (PNA)

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