The government is eyeing a 25-year private lease of the crocodile farm in Palawan since it is incurring yearly losses of at least P5 million in managing the facility.
Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Armando de Castro said the high cost of operating the crocodile farm in Puerto Princesa City is prompting the government to put it up for bidding to private contractors.
De Castro said the government is spending P8.5 million a year in managing the farm, which is merely earning between P3 million and P5 million, depending on the number of visitors.
The crocodile farm was put up in 1988 for the conservation and protection of crocodiles in Palawan.
It has bred nearly 4,000 marine crocodiles. However, it is now overpopulated with over a thousand crocodiles, which have a life span of up to eight years.
"Some marine crocodiles in the area are dying because of overpopulation. Either we return them to (their natural habitat) or expand the area," De Castro said.
The Natural Resources Development Corp. (NRDC), the corporate arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is currently managing the crocodile farm. — Katherine Adraneda