The Municipality of EL Nido is located in the northern most tip of Palawan mainland, with Type I Climate. It is composed of 18 barangays, four (4) of which are classified urban and 14 are rural. It has a Total land area of 92,326 hectares, of which more than 50 percent has very steep slopes that pose a physical limitation for the municipality in terms of expanding its development area for purposes of economic growth.
El Nido has a high biodiversity. It harbors a total of 98 species of vertebrate fauna; 66 of which are birds, 19 species of mammals, 5 species of amphibians and 8 species of reptiles. It has 19 true and 22 associate mangrove species that belong to 19 families and 26 genera of vascular plants. It is home to 9 species seagrass, 447 species (plus 44 potential new species) of hard corrals, 910 species of reef fishes and 5 species of sea turtle.
El Nido has a total population of 41,606 as of year 2015, with 47 ethnic groups recorded. It has a high literacy rate at 97.55%, in which more women are literate compared to men.
To facilitate the delivery of services to the target recipients, the Municipal Government intensified its Information Education Campaign (IEC), organizing its clientele into an associations in every sitio and/or barangay level and then federate the associations in the municipal level. Among the important concerns to look at in social welfare and protection is the municipal wide skills inventory of the individuals considered members of the work / labor force, putting high consideration to address the trend of unemployment and poverty incidence rate for women which is slightly higher compared to men, achieving gender equality and empowering women.
The incidence of crime, fire and maritime accidents in the municipality is not critical nor in serious condition, still, should the protective services aptly be provided with the necessary equipment and facilities to allow the personnel to perform their duties effectively. More so, availability of required equipment and facilities will further enable them to act on emergency situations accordingly in ensuring safe and secure communities as one of the goals under the “Pagbabago”.
At present, there are 43 public schools in the Municipality of El Nido. Twenty eight (28) of which are elementary/primary schools, thirteen (13) secondary/high schools and two (2) tertiary schools. Most of the schools in far flung areas have lower number of students compared to schools located in the town proper which is the urban area. Basic facilities such as armchairs are not enough for the number of students enrolled.
El Nido has one (1) Municipal Health Unit (MHU) located at Poblacion and sixteen (16) Barangay Health Stations. The top three leading causes of morbidity in El Nido for the past three years are: pneumonia, animal bite and acute bronchitis, with pneumonia constantly the topmost, the animal bite and acute bronchitis are just alternating in the second and third spot.
The Municipal Government is continuingly evolving in addressing health and the overall social concerns of the municipality. Fund allocations are increasing through the years, partnership with other agencies and CSOs are getting stronger to deliver basic social services to the community. Capacity enhancement of frontline health workers and social workers are also in place. These are in support to achieving the goal on “Enhanced human development and improved well-being” of the El Nidonians in support to “Pagbabago”.
The top five major crops in El Nido are rice, coconut, cashew, corn and assorted vegetables. The total annual production of these crops is 15, 101, 491.38 kilograms with a total value of Php 239, 826, 148.13. It is recommended that a Municipal Food Security Plan anchored in food self-sufficiency assessment result should be developed, making sure that the prioritized programs, projects and activities are leading towards addressing the real concerns in agriculture and at the same time maximizing resource use.
The tourist (customer) satisfaction which is determined by the average length of stay of tourists in the municipality is fluctuating this past three years. Adding to this, is the COVID 19 pandemic that has turned tourism industry spiraling down to the bottom. With these challenges that the tourism industry is facing, it is imperative that the MTO strengthened the establishment Barangay Tourism Councils (BTCs), facilitate strong collaboration with the inter-agency councils, other departments in the local government and national agencies, and foster international alliances to build strong partnership and think-tank in dealing with tourism related concerns.
At present, 8,343 out of 9,504 households (87.78%) of the total number of households in the municipality have access to electricity. A high leap from CBMS 2014 data of 2, 957 out of 8, 548 households, however, so much remains to be desired as far as power service is concern, to boost tourism industry and other economic activities since only individual household low capacity solar panels are the electricity source of the most of the far flung barangays.
Current level 3 Water System is very limited in capacity and coverage, though number of households with access is regularly increasing every year. The expansion of El Nido Water and Sanitation System (ENWSS) is urgently needed in the municipality and of course the protection of the existing watersheds to ensure the supply of water.
In an effort to protect the environment, the Municipal Government and Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) hires law enforcers conducting patrol, monitoring and apprehension of illegal activities. Tied up with the private sector and the CSOs for a behavioral change campaign through education (awareness raising), and other environmental conservation activities such as installation of mooring buoys, however, these efforts are not yet enough to conserve and sustain the environmental assets of El Nido. Further enhancement and support to environmental conservation programs is still needed to be considered particularly in strengthening the enforcement and continuing IEC are the keys to environmental conservation, to minimize if not totally eradicate the human stresses caused by illegal activities and irresponsible use of the environment.
Infrastructure / Utilities / Facilities
The current road network of the municipality has total length of 253.267 kilometers (km), of which only 134.144 km are concrete. The Municipal Government has limited resources and borrowing capacity to finance critical public infrastructure investments needed to support its growing tourism industry. Thus, outsourcing from national agencies and public-private partnership is necessary to address the infrastructure and utility needs.
More than 50 percent of El Nido has steep slopes. These physical characteristics pose limitation for the municipality in terms of expanding its development area for purposes of economic growth. Implementation of some infrastructure projects of the Municipal Government has been delayed and/or fund allocation reverted back to national agencies due to land ownership issues, thus, acquisition of land (lots) for institutional uses is imperative given the growing need of government services.
Local Institutional Capability
As of year 2019 the Municipal Government has a total of 336 authorized positions comprised by 332 key positions, 10 support key positions, 70 technical staff and 224 administrative support staff. Technical positions are limited, technical works still have to be sourced outside which takes more fund allocations and lengthy time. Most of the special programs were designated to direct reports, since only personnel within the SG 18 and above are required/allowed of supervisory trainings; it is recommended that special programs should be designated only to personnel in SG 18 and above. The Municipal Government should also consider creating highly technical positions with higher salary grade to attract interest of technical professionals that would take charge on special programs and other technical works to further enhance the government services and program implementation. Capacity building programs aside from the current trainings and seminars attended by Municipal Government personnel should be in placed such as but not limited to trainings and further studies through scholarship grants as part of the continuing professional development to promote human resource development and maximizing human resources.
As to financial status, the El Nido Municipal Government has a healthy balance sheet, limited debt and good cash reserves. Municipal Government’s budget increased on average of 19.8% from 2015-2018 However, the fund available could not sustain the current needs of the society. The Municipal Government through its Local Finance Committee has to implement well or if there is none, come up with its Local Resource Mobilization Program as mandated by law.
Currently there are a total of 74 organizations listed in the LGU Directory of Civil Society Organizations. Out of these, only ten (10) CSOs are accredited by the Sangguniang Bayan as to writing of this document. CSOs are very active when it comes to participation in Local Special Bodies, in environment related endeavors and social services. Most of the CSOs in the municipality are in the form of people’s organization, some are cooperatives, business sector and non-government organizations. There is no LGU staff to assist and monitor CSOs, only a designated Municipal Cooperative Development Officer which only assist the cooperatives. It is then recommended that the Municipal Government should create position (not only designation) that would primarily focus on community development particularly in assisting and monitoring the CSOs to further enhance LGU – CSO – Private sector – community partnership as key to participatory governance and ensure the sustainability of the CSO – community established projects.