Lake Danao attracting more tourists despite problems

March 10, 2015 4:19 am 

ORMOC CITY, March 9 — Lake Danao attracted 3,408 local and foreign visitors last year, said Park Supt. Nicolas Daffon Jr. during recent the meeting of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas Management Board (DENR-PAMB).

Crisostomo Badeo Jr., sectoral management officer of the DENR-PAMB protected area management section, presided the meeting.

Filipinos made up the bulk of total visitor count in 2014 at 3,285 or 96.3 percent. Only a few foreigners, numbering 123 stepped foot on the lake’s vicinity, representing a measly 3.7 percent.

The most number of visitors recorded was during the second quarter (April to June) numbering 1,749.

The government earned Php33,650 from payment of Php10 entrance fee charged per person, which is split equally by the PAMB and village local government unit (LGU).

Daffon said the amount could have been higher if only tourists, purportedly guests of politicians, are not spared of paying the entrance fee.

Badeo reminded Daffon of the agreement among PAMB members to strictly collect entrance fee from all visitors. Exempted from paying are PAMB members as well as personnel of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and Leyte Metropolitan Water District which provide services to the protected area.

Another concern that was discussed is the uncontrolled proliferation of cottages numbering 13 (three floating and five offshore).

Lake Danao Farmers Association has the most number of cottages with 10 (five floating, five offshore). The people’s organization that will guide, serve and accommodate visitors has two floating cottages while the village local government has one.

Badeo emphasized the need to regulate the number and design of cottages to preserve the beauty and nature of the lake. He also asked officials to put cottages in different areas as these become eyesores and congested if concentrated in one place. (PNA)

LAP/SQM/FNC/EDS

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