Dagupan council gives nod to 'Island Tours'

January 28, 2015 6:39 am 

DAGUPAN CITY, Jan. 27 — The city council finally passed an ordinance on Tuesday providing measures for the operation and management of the city's new tourism come-on "Island Tours" and imposing fees and the manner of collection of the same.

Authored by Councilor Karlos Reyna, the ordinance set regulations for the use of three flat boats that will ferry tourists to various islands of Dagupan where they can see the vast expanse of the river systems and their eco-system in a one to two-hour river odyssey.

The ordinance fixed the rate per passenger riding in the "Island Tours" at P25 per head per trip or P500 per boat per trip. The collection from passengers will go to the city treasury.

Mayor Belen Fernandez hailed the approval of this ordinance by the city council which is a pre-condition for the registration of the three flat boats which were donated to the city by multinational companies Unilever, Procter and Gamble and Kraft, with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

In sponsoring the ordinance, Reyna said the "Island Tours" will be a revenue-generating project for Dagupan, saying that under the Local Government Code, LGUs are allowed to generate their respective revenues.

Reyna said that each of the three flat boats can accommodate 25 to 30 passengers. Each trip will last one to two hours and even up to three hours.

Tourists boarding these flat boats can have a chance too to buy fresh fish like milkfish, groupers (lapu-lapu), " talakitok", oysters and others from boatmen while doing sight-seeing tours in the city rivers.

However, the approved ordinance shall only be effective after the approval by the legislative body of its Internal Rules and Regulations (IRR) now being prepared by the executive department.

The "Island Tours" replaced the shortlived Dagupan River Cruise which grounded to a halt in 2013 after then Mayor Benjamin Lim lost the election to the incumbent Belen Fernandez.

The ordinance said the "Island Tours" will provide livelihood to the locals and generate income to the city while promoting tourism and providing awareness on how to protect and conserve natural resources as a key to boosting the local economy.

The "Island Tours" was formally launched during the Dagupan fiesta last December with "balikbayans" as the first to ride the flat boats in the maiden voyage that afforded them a chance to marvel at the beauty of Dagupan rivers. (PNA)



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