Cebu gov orders suspension of canyoneering in 2 southern towns
CEBU CITY, June 1 (PNA) -- Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has ordered the temporary suspension of all canyoneering activities in Alegria and Badian towns in southern Cebu effective Wednesday, June 1, up to August 1 this year.
Canyoneering, an adventure trek in Kanlaob River traversing Barangay Compostela in Alegria and Barangay Matutinao in Badian, has already attracted a sizable number of local and foreign tourists.
In an executive order issued May 31, Davide said all canyoneering-related activities in the two barangays have to be suspended pending the formulation of policies and strict guidelines to ensure the safety of residents and tourists in the sites.
The order came after a team from the Cebu Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) conducted last May 19 a risk and safety assessment of the canyoneering site following reports of accidents involving local and foreign tourists who were brought there by local tour operators and guides.
Based on reports, three guests reportedly died there last March.
Davide, in his order, directed the PDRRMO to closely coordinate with the local governments of Alegria and Badian in regulating the canyoneering activities.
"The PDRRMO is hereby directed to formulate in consultation with the local government of Alegria and Badian, the appropriate guidelines, rules and regulations on the conduct of any activity relating to canyoneering," the order said.
The Alegria Tourism Office said a total of 32,502 tourists went on canyoneering last year, of which 5,548 were foreign tourists.
Alegria logged some 42,552 canyoneering guests from January to April this year, of which 10,662 were foreign guests.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 said a minimum of 500 guests go canyoneering during weekdays and the number increases to 1,000 on weekends.
Revenues in canyoneering translate to millions if each guest pays PHP1,000 for the activity. (PNA)