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'Environmental Clearance' for Subic Bay (i.e. Birdwatching Permit)

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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 04:38   #1
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'Environmental Clearance' for Subic Bay (i.e. Birdwatching Permit)

Hopefully of use to independent travellers who intend to visit the Subic Bay area...

Depending on where you look, there is considerable confusion over whether or not a permit is required to go birding in Subic Bay. We (a party of just two) got stopped twice by police patrols there last week, both times birding from public roads in the Cubi area, and told we needed one. Our parked car also attracted the attentions of the police along Hospital Road, and we had to return to it when they started up their sirens.

The permit is easy to get, from the Ecology Center next to the Subic International Hotel on the corner of Rizal Highway and Labitan Street (the building is the one marked 'Visa Processing Office' on Google Maps). It costs 200 PHP per permit plus 100 PHP per person covered by the permit. Photography is covered under the same permit and we were not required to hire a guide.

It was likely big camera lenses that caused the police to stop rather than people at the roadside. If you have no such equipment, I guess you could say you were just 'out for a walk' and that would (hopefully) not require special clearance. However, as we were stopped along public roads for birdwatching (an activity requiring clearance), it seems that a permit is required for birding at any location under SBMA control. This is made clear in their website (which I found when I got home).

The relevant website:

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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 07:15   #2
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Thanks for the info Steve. Useful to know.
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