The Koror State Legislature, through a social media post, announced the public hearing for the proposed increase of Jellyfish Lake and Rock Island permit fees to be held at the Koror State Constitution Hall on February 20 at 6pm.

The proposed bill, which seeks to amend existing state law, was put forth to push for increase of permit fees for Rock Island Use from $50 to $100 valid only for four days and for the Jellyfish Lake from $100 to $150 but valid only for one-day.

The bill, labeled Legislature Bill No. 11-11, LD1, was introduced by Koror State Legislator Kyonori Tellames to amend Section 9 of KSPL No. K8-207-2009.

A 100-dollar permit for the Jellyfish Lake is valid for 10 days at the present but under the new proposition, a 50-dollar increase is suggested and validity is for a shorter period.

It also added a provision that allows visitors to have a dual permit by adding a $50 on top of the proposed $100 Rock Island fee or Jellyfish Lake fee.

Aside from the proposed increase of permit fees, the bill also redefines the authority given to the Koror State Governor to provide fee exemption for special cases involving official guests and persons engaged in scientific, educational, and environmental activities and to locals accompanying individuals for these particular activities. Instead of full fee exemption, the bill seeks to limit this power by imposing discounts instead.

The bill cited the need to increase the revenue collections for the famous sites to be able to support researchers in continuing the monitoring of the lake.

Palau’s famous jellyfish lake had just recently seen a boom of the golden jellyfish population following the drastic decline of its population in 2016.

If the bill becomes a law, the proposed fees will be imposed on all visitors at least six years old. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)