PANGLAO, Bohol – Mayor Leonila Montero bared that this premier tourist town she’s now steering had lost some Php2.4 billion in the last 30 years of alleged neglect and lack of proper implementation of policies due to “political turmoil.” The past administrations were known for “political bickering” between the executive and legislative. One of the outcomes was that annual budgets were not adopted that resulted to automatic adoption of annual outlays in the preceding year, sources here said.
Mayor Montero said in exclusive interview she vowed not to repeat what was lost but instead work hard with Vice-Mayor Pedro Fuertes and other officials to achieve more what her predecessors failed. Stressing tourism as its main economic driver, Montero said that this town could earn as much as PhP8.6 million every year from revenues of scuba dive alone. And this is being given a priority and attention by the Montero-Fuertes administration by formulating strategies in the proper implementation of tourism-related policies, Mayor Montero said in an exclusive interview yesterday.
Montero has computed how she reached the amount. She said that at Php250/person/dive multiplied by 60 persons per dive site per day, it would be PhP15,000. This figure multiplied by 16 potential dive sites in the municipal territorial jurisdiction, it would be a PhP240,000 multiplied by 30 days equals to PhP720,000. The amount of PhP720,000 multiplied by Php 12 months it will be a whooping Php8.6 million per year.
This is aside from other fees, such as mooring and snorkeling, also considered as income earners.
She said this is realistic since her administration is enforcing an executive order that empowers dive organizations. And the said policy strictly requires every dive outfit to become a member of the Panglao Divers Association (PADO) headed by Holger Horn, the mayor said.
Another salient point, she said, is that one-entry-one-exit policy is to be carried out. Her administration is to assign personnel in every dive site to monitor and collect the fees.
The said executive order harmonizes with the old policies governing dive activities of tourism, which she considers as the “goose that lays the golden eggs.”
The revenues generated from tourism-related activities will be used for peace and order, environmental protection/preservation and social concerns, Montero said.
The mayor is optimistic that proper implementation of policies and good housekeeping are achievable since the executive and legislative branches are now united under the Montero-Fuertes administration. Gone are the days that both branches did not put their acts together, the mayor said. (rvo)