This croc is no grafter


BY ROGER M. BALANZA

While some of his crooked two-legged cousins fleece public coffers through corrupt deals, this croc earns money— nearing half-a-million pesos at the latest count—for the government and does not give a hoot about getting his share.
And Lolong has given that much money to the Bunawan municipality in Agusan del Sur without a sweat and by simply wallowing in shallow waters in a pond.

    Lolong is the now-famous 20-meter crocodile captured recently in the Agusan Marsh and now living in a cage in Bunawan municipality.
He earns money as the latest tourism object in Agusan, from donations, and parking fees and ticket sales at the 30-hectare Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center in Barangay Consuelo, where Lolong is caged for public viewing.
Lolong raised P500,000 in 40 days from October, when the crocodile was transfered to the center, to September, said Consuelo councilman Apollo Canoy, spokesperson for the facility built by Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde.
Elorde said the center has been earning an average of P8,000 a day from entrance fees and parking fees alone since Lolong became a resident of the center.
Lolong’s total haul of half-a-million pesos in a little more than a month included donations fron local governments and the private sector, he said.
Welinda Asis-Elorde, Bunawan media affairs coordinator, said Lolong’s crowd-drawing and revenue raising capability has inspired the local government unit to start planning for a P200 million development plan for the center.

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