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Mayor: Croc Lolong has already earned nearly half million pesos

BUNAWAN, Agusan del Sur — Giant crocodile “Lolong" already earned nearly half a million pesos from donations, entrance and parking fees at the Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center in Barangay Consuelo, some ten kilometers from the town proper. Bunawan town mayor Edwin Elorde told GMA News Online the daily average income from entrance, parking fees and donations is around P8,000 in October. Mayor Elorde said that as of October 25 the local government has already accumulated some P430,000.00 in earnings from the park's entrance and parking fees which the local government began collecting right after Lolong was placed inside a special cage there. “Of course this includes donations from well-meaning individuals and groups who after seeing Lolong volunteered to donate certain amounts and the Bunawan LGU issued official receipts for their benevolence and some expressed even to help Lolong, Mayor Elorde added. Also, Elorde claimed all income derived from Bunawan Eco-Park was properly accounted for. Meanwhile, Kagawad Apollo Canoy, spokesperson for the Bunawan Eco-Park Project, said that in September, there were days that entrance and parking fees hit as high as P30,000 daily. The Bunawan Municipal Council recently passed Municipal Ordinance regulating and imposing entrance, parking and other fees at the Bunawan Eco-Park where the celebrity giant crocodile now resides. Under said ordinance, entrance fee for adults is P20 each on regular days, but on special days it is P40.00. For children, P15 on regular days and P30.00 on special days. For senior citizens and persons with disability, entrance is for free. Parking fees under the ordinance are as follows: Motorcycle, P5.00; Jeepney, SUVs, multi-cabs, P10.00; and for Elf or six-wheeler vehicles or trucks P20.00. Canoy claimed that the Eco-Park is also incurring huge expenses to maintain electricity, maintenance and other incidental expenses such as installing of CCTV cameras inside the park. — Ben Serrano/LBG, GMA News