IMPROVING ECOTOURISM IN PALAUI ISLAND. The governing board of the Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS) continues its efforts in the improvement of ecotourism in the protected area for economic and ecological development.

In a protected area management board (PAMB) meeting chaired by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, several ecotourism development plans were discussed prioritizing the provision of livelihood among the locals in PIPLS.

"We need to prepare for the influx of tourists in the coming peak seasons," encouraged Director Bambalan as she emphasized that all ecotourism facilities to be established should be completed this year.

The regional environment chief emphasized that the development of ecotourism facilities should strictly adhere to the laws and regulations within Palaui Island.

"Businesses or establishments
within the PA's strict protection zone must be relocated," she added.

Among the agreements made during the meeting include the crafting of a resolution to prioritize training of homestay operators in basic innkeeping and other accommodation guidelines. The training is
one of the requirements of the Department of Tourism for homestay owners before they can start accommodating overnight guests.

The reconstruction of the Baratubot bridge was also presented to the board. The concreting of the said bridge will give access to tourists going to Baratubot falls and other ecotourism areas in the island.

“We must undergo careful and strategic planning in the construction of the bridge for it will not only benefit tourists but mostly the school children and the community,” ordered the PAMB chief.

The board also discussed the collection of entrance fee, fees for the newly-installed ecotourism facilities, and the establishment of a docking area for boats in the island's Cape Engaño.#