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Abstract

This study seeks to estimate the welfare benefits received by the visitors of the Calatagan Mangrove Forest Conservation Park in Batangas. Specifically, it aims to estimate the consumer surplus gained by the park’s visitors at the current user fee. A linear demand function is derived from a visitation model specified as a double-log regression of the number of visitors as a function of the cost of visit and some shiftor variables. Consequently, the consumer surplus is calculated using the double integration method of the fitted demand curve and is found to be equivalent to PhP 349,576 at the mean cost of the visit valued at PhP 206 and average number of visitors equal to 1,167 persons per month. Results of the study show that the present user fee is below optimal and the management of the park can effectively raise it to at most PhP 400, since the demand elasticity is found to be less than unity, thus providing an opportunity for the park management to maximize its total revenue. At the recommended user fee, the consumer surplus remains positive, which implies that recommended user fee is economically feasible.

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