LAOAG CITY — To promote sustainable eco-tourism development and ensure the safety of tourists and operators, an ordinance to regulate the commercial use of off-road vehicles in Ilocos Norte is now in place.
Following a series of consultations among concerned stakeholders, Xavier Ruiz of Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) said the 4×4 vehicle operation ordinance was finally approved recently by members of the Ilocos Norte board.
This paved the way for the creation of a council composed of 15 bodies to act as central authority in implementing its rules and regulations.
As stated in Provincial Ordinance No. 053-2016, all vehicles must be registered and the operators must be accredited through the Ilocos Norte Off-Road Vehicles Regulatory Council.
Commercial vehicles should only operate within the prescribed routes and established terminals.
Offenses are subject to suspension or even permanent disqualification from operation.
During a consultation meeting with stakeholders recently, governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos stressed that sanitation, cleanliness and safety measures should always be observed.
Due to popular demand, Ruiz said INTO is also eyeing the establishment of new destinations for off-road activities such as the towns of Vintar, Adams and Pagudpud.
“We are looking on the creation of new routes that won’t disturb areas that are supposed to be protected. This is going to be done together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office,” he added.
To date, there are at least 110 off-road vehicles that operate in the province, mainly in Paoay Sand Dunes and La Paz Sand Dunes.
The average rate for renting off-road vehicles is Php2,500.00 per hour. PNA/northboundasia.com