What is El Nido’s Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF)?
• When you go on an island hopping tour in El Nido, you will be asked by your booking office or your tour guide to pay an “eco tax” or “eco fee”. Its price is of PHP200. You will then get a receipt made at your name, valid for 10 days.
• Sometimes, tourists complain about this fee, because it feels like an extra payment, often made just before boarding their tour boat. Nonetheless, you must know that this tax doesn’t go to your booking office or tour guide, which have to transfer it to the municipality.
• In response to the growing needs of environmental protection, resource rehabilitation and tourism development in El Nido, the Local Government Unit [LGU], under the leadership of Mayor Leonor D. Corral, implemented the Eco-Tourism Development Fee [ETDF] ordinance on November 27, 2009. In this fee system, each tourist pays an amount of Php 200. Palawan residents outside El Nido pay a discounted amount of Php 100 [Php 50 for Palaweno students]. Tickets issued upon payment will serve as access to all tourism sites within El Nido for a period of 10 days.
• This Eco-Tourism Development Fee ordinance, authored by Councilors Nieves Rosento and Rico Fernandez, was passed by the Municipal Council and was approved by the mayor in 2008. The ordinance stated that 50% of the fund will go to environmental protection, resource rehabilitation, solid waste management and tourism development. 10% of it will go the Protected Area Office [PAO] while another 10% will go to the different barangays’ coastal resource management and watershed projects. 20% of it will be used to defray administrative costs such as printing of tickets, salary of ticket inspectors and information materials. The remaining 10% will go LGU’s general fund.