Bill to create the National Ecotourism Commission

Rep. Mark Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City) has filed a bill creating the
ational !coto"ris# Co##ission to pro#ote to"ris# based on a $ell%crafted balance
bet$een econo#ic gro$th and en&iron#ental protection.
Villar, a"thor of 'o"se (ill )*+,, said the richness of the co"ntry-s reso"rces co"ld
only be opti#ally "tili.ed if they are best protected.
/0"r forests are being den"ded at the rate of 1, hectares per ho"r, $ith only an
esti#ated ++2,333 hectares of o"r co"ntry-s #angro&e forest re#ain, and )1* ri&ers being
#onitored by the go&ern#ent, abo"t half are already poll"ted, )3 of $hich are declared
biologically dead,4 Villar said.
/5o"ris# $o"ld yield the #ost profits if it ens"res the pri#ary of the en&iron#ent
and the preser&ation of the c"lt"re of o"r people,4 Villar added.
Villar cited the co"ntry-s $ide array of to"ris# attractions ranging fro# #a6estic
&olcanoes, l"sh tropical forests, breath%taking $aterfalls, #agnificent seascapes,
spectac"lar coral reef for#ations, and #any other rare attractions ende#ic only in the
Philippines.
/5he role of the local co##"nities incl"ding the indigeno"s c"lt"ral co##"nities
as ste$ards of the en&iron#ent in their respecti&e localities is gi&en i#portance so as to
benefit fro# the profits generated fro# ecoto"ris# acti&ities,4 Villar said.
7nder the #eas"re, the proposed co##ission shall be co#posed of one
representati&e each fro# accredited non%go&ern#ent organi.ations and people-s
organi.ations engaged in ecoto"ris#, one recogni.ed indigeno"s people-s federation,
rep"table tra&el organi.ations, the acade#e and the organi.ation representing the local
go&ern#ent chief e8ec"ti&es.
5he Depart#ent of 5o"ris# (D05) and the Depart#ent of !n&iron#ental and
at"ral Reso"rces (D!R) shall assist the Co##ission in its task of p"rs"ing the
ob6ecti&es established in this 9ct.
5he co##ission shall be tasked to re&ie$ and "pdate the e8isting ecoto"ris#
#aster plan and s"per&ise the i#ple#entation of the corresponding progra#s and
acti&ities.

:t shall also assess and e&al"ate the potential i#pact of de&elop#ent to the
en&iron#ental integrity of areas to be incl"ded in the et$ork of !coto"ris# ;ites
NR # 3547
AUG 3, 2014
thro"gh the cond"ct of !n&iron#ental :#pact 9ssess#ents "nder Presidential Decree
+,<= and i#ple#enting r"les and reg"lations.
5he local co##"nities as $ell as the indigeno"s co##"nities to be affected by the
de&elop#ent of ecoto"ris# site shall acti&ely participate in the for#"lation of ecoto"ris#
plans $ith the assistance of the Co##ission.
5he local co##"nities shall directly recei&e the proceeds of ecoto"ris# acti&ities in
their respecti&e areas as $ell as the preference in the e#ploy#ent opport"nities that $ill
be generated therefro#.
5he local co##"nities shall set aside a portion of the proceeds s"fficient to pro&ide
for the protection and conser&ation of the en&iron#ent in the ecoto"ris# site.
9 special f"nd called the !coto"ris# >"nd, $hich shall be so"rced fro# at least
t$enty percent (13?) of the gross receipts of the 5ra&el 5a8 of the preceding year and as
s"ch other so"rces or sa&ings as the go&ern#ent #ay dee# appropriate. (*3) jc

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