PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, March 4 (PIA) -- The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and the City Tourism Department has advised all vacationers planning to visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) to secure entrance permits early before flying to the city.
“As of now, entrance to the PPUR is already fully booked for 2 weeks. Those without permits, the walk-ins, are not sure that they will be able to enter the park,” said Rebecca V. Labit, City Tourism Officer.
She said that they are expecting a deluge of tourists this summer with three large associations of the Department of Education, court employees association and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers scheduled to hold their national conventions in the city.
To protect and conserve the park in its natural state, the PAMB has set the park’s carrying capacity at a maximum of 780 visitors per day. This is the reason why the PAMB imposes entrance permits for many years now.
“Our department has no say in the number of visitors that the PPUR allows, and the city government cannot compromise the protection of the park which is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site,” Labit said.
The PPUR is part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, one of the country’s most important protected areas, a full mountain-to-sea ecosystem and is habitat to different flora and fauna. PPUR is now one of the new seven wonders of nature.
Labit said that visitors can book online through accredited travel and tour agencies in Puerto Princesa most of which have websites and emails. The website of the city government has a list of the accredited travel and tour agencies at www.puertoprincesa.ph.
She said that there are many other activities that are worth experiencing in lieu of the PPUR like the mangrove paddle boat tour which takes the tourist on a river cruise that meanders among centuries-old thick mangrove forest.
Other fun activities mentioned by Labit at the park are spelunking and caving at the Ugong Rock, sea, sun and sand activities at the Sabang beach and the zipline adventures at Ugong Rock and Sabang. (TBO/VSM-PIA4B Palawan)