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Anda, Bohol resort owners want town’s environmental fee policy scrapped

By: Leo Udtohan - Philippine Daily Inquirer | April 09,2023 - 09:18 PM

bohol beach

File photo

TAGBILARAN CITY — Resort owners in Anda, Bohol have opposed the implementation of a P30 environmental fee for every person entering the municipality known for its pristine white sand beaches.

Resort owners Anastacio Daniel Jr. of Anda de Boracay, Edil Tan of Anda Global 1 & 2, and Filomina White of Bitoon White Beach asked Anda Mayor Angelina Simacio to stop the collection of fees since it would discourage beachgoers from visiting the place located about 99.3 km from Tagbilaran City.

They said the collection of an environmental fee, which was covered by Municipal Ordinance No. 21-2020, was deficient in form.

“Why was there no public hearing for stakeholders and people of Anda? Where is the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP)? Why implement without SP concurrence?,” they said in a letter sent to the mayor on March 16.

The resort owners considered the collection of fees a “highway robbery” and is “killing the industry softly.”

The collection of fees, which started two weeks ago, is being carried out at the boundary of Anda and Guindulman towns.

The municipality of Anda, located at the eastern tip of Bohol, is known as the province’s “last frontier.”

It has more than 30 accredited resorts and establishments and is groomed as the “next tourist destination” because of its white sand beaches.

Mayor Simacio said the ordinance was enacted in 2019 during the term of Metodio Amper. It was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My job is to implement an approved law,” she said in a radio interview.

Simacio said the local government would assess and evaluate if the increase in the environmental fee was beneficial to both the local government and the tourism industry.

If the ordinance had negative effects, the mayor said she would ask the town council to review or amend it.

Simacio clarified that the environmental fee collected was primarily for the improvement and maintenance of tourism-related infrastructure, including road improvements leading to resorts as well as solid waste management programs.

“We are doing everything to protect the environment,” she said.

Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado has requested Simacio to stop the collection of P30 along the highway which he considered as an “eye sore.”

He advised the mayor to collect the fees at the entrances of the various beach resorts where environmental fees are required.


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TAGS: bohol, Cebu Daily News, environmental, fee, Resorts

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