By Noel Cabobos
Here’s another burden for all water sports enthusiasts in the island of Boracay.
An additional P30 pesos is now being collected by the local government of Malay for the use of pontoon, a plastic floating bridge or floating landing stage, on top of the payment of any water activity.
The additional fee, which started on Saturday, has been authorized under executive order issued by Mayor Frolibar Bautista on Dec. 5, 2019.
Executive Order No. 51, series of 2019 specifically requires all watersports and seasports operators to utilize the centralized pontoon situated along Stations 1 and 3 purportedly to regulate the operations of water activities in the island.
The activities covered in the utilization of the said pontoon include island hopping, helmet diving, banana boat riding, scuba diving, parasailing, flyfishing, jetskiing, sunset cruise, and other related water and seasports activities.
However, a lot of water sports enthusiasts are clamoring about the additional fee which is being collected by the local government through Boracay Island Hopping Association (BIHA) and is not issued an official receipt.
“Is this legal? Where does the payment go? Is there such an Ordinance authorizing BIHA to levy said fee? Were the stakeholders and tour operators informed of the additional fee for them to adjust their package rates?” are some of the questions being hurled at the local government that remain unanswered as of presstime.
Mayor Bautista was not immediately available for comment.