Plan to ban all vehicles from the streets of El Nido, Palawan

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El Nido
A bird’s eye view of town, Palawan

Authorities at the Palawan tourist town of El Nido are considering banning all vehicles from its streets.

If approved, the proposal would see the currently congested town centre declared a “walk zone”.

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The idea is being considered by the El Nido Traffic Monitoring Group. Members pointed to the frequent gridlock caused by El Nido’s narrow streets, particularly during peak tourist season.

The group’s head, Joel Rosento , said: “The best solution to decongest our streets is to create an ordinance declaring El Nido as walk zone.”

Already, two of the town’s busiest streets in the heart of El Nido’s tourist zone have been declared walk zones.

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“We implement that policy at night from 6pm to 6am when tourists are strolling around the town after the day-long island tour,” he said.

At the municipal council’s transportation committee meeting this week, Mr Rosento proposed extending the scheme throughout the town, on a 24/7 basis.

“We will designate areas where tricycles and other public utility vehicles can load and unload passengers,” he said.

“Those with private vehicles will be required to have a garage, while heavy-duty vehicles will be given a certain period of time at night when they are allowed to deliver goods, fuel and construction materials.”

In September, we reported how local authorities in the town had taken action on congestion at El Nido’s most popular tourist destinations.

A resolution was adopted to prevent overcrowding in the Big and Small Lagoons and Secret Beach by strictly limiting daily visitor numbers.

Furthermore, the sites are now only open to visitors from 6am to 6pm, with final entry at 5pm.

El Nido has seen its tourist arrivals increase by nearly a third in the last three years. Last year alone, the town welcomed 126,000 visitors.

Protected Area Superintendent Alex Mancio said: “We noticed unpleasant activities happening on these sites, particularly in Big and Small Lagoons wherein boats entering and kayaks operating there are not well-regulated.”

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