Over the weekend, tourists passing through Ternate, Cavite were surprised to encounter a long queue of other tourists upon entering the town. The reason: Ecological Fee.
Ternate is one of the towns tourists (particularly motorcycle riders) pass through on the way to Kaybiang Tunnel in Maragondon; a favorite tourist site and stop.
Ternate has recently imposed an Ecological Fee under Municipal Ordinance No. 5, Series of 2014, that “requires” tourists entering the town to pay an ecological fee of ₱20.00 per head.
“Riders do not complain about the 20-peso fee. It is not a question of ‘just a meager PhP20’ or [that] PhP20 is heavy on the pocket or anything like that. It’s about whether the funds are really going to the eco-related programs or not,” said one of the riders who frequent Kaybiang Tunnel.
In July of last year, the town of Ternate required tourists to present a valid travel pass and medical certificate when passing through the town. Visitors, made up of cyclists and motorcycle riders that frequently travel on the road, had to present the documents to pass through the town. The new requirement was made in response to concerns from residents over the number of visitors to the landmark tunnel. At the time, the entire province of Cavite was under General Community Quarantine.