DENR suspends entrance fee collection to Bohol’s man-made forest
TAGBILARAN CITY –– Tourists entering the famous man-made forest in Bohol province have something to smile about.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has suspended the collection of entrance fees in the area.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Charlie Fabre said he issued the order placing the fee collection “on hold” pending a meeting today (January 17).
He said the meeting would be attended by Capitol officials and stakeholders in the tourism industry, including tour operators and guides.
“I will present to the PAMB (Protective Area Management Board) the results of all comments and suggestions then the PAMB will decide,” Fabre said.
The temporary stoppage may last up to two months depending on the resolution of the issues that beset the fee collection.
A giant tarp along the road in the man-made forest informed the public that effective October 1, 2019 PAMB will implement Department Admin Order No. 2016-24, the revised rates of fees for entrance and use of facilities and resources in protected areas in the country.
The entrance fee for Filipino tourists is P30, P100 for foreigners, and P15 for students.
Persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and children below 7 years old are free as long as an identification card is presented.
In Bohol, there are 16 protected areas, including the man-made forest, Chocolate Hills Natural Monument, and the Panglao Island Protected Seascape.
The man-made forest is a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted mahogany trees at the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. It was part of a bigger reforestation project in 1947 made in response to deforestation.
The forest is along the highway that leads to the Chocolate Hills in Carmen town./lzb
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