All’s well that ends well.
Officials of Alegria and Badian towns agreed to submit a proposal on how to co-manage the canyoneering spot following a meeting with top Capitol officials on Friday.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes A. Magpale and Provincial Tourism Office Head Joselito “Boboi” Costas sat with the towns’ chief executives to thresh out a possible boundary dispute.
The boundary dispute arises over the lucrative canyoneering track after a cadastral survey of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 showed that all seven jump sites belong to Alegria.
But in its municipal boundary map, four of the jump stations are within Badian’s territory.
The Kanlaob River traverses both towns where most canyoneering activities are being held. The trek starts from Barangay Compostela in Alegria and trails over Kawasan falls in Barangay Matutinao, Badian.
Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon and Badian Mayor Carmen Librando-Lumain led the representatives from both sides.
Davide said they want to iron out the difference and bring out a better scheme to serve the town constituents.
“Ang atong tinguha ani nga magkasinabot ang duha ka lungsod ug maka benepisyo ang mga lumulopyo sa duha ka munisipyo. We want to have a happy compromise. It’s a gift of nature,” Davide said.
“They are willing to settle the issue; they don’t want to quarrel over it,” He added.
Asked if the Province would take over the management of canyoneering activities if both parties failed to reach an agreement, Davide told reporters that it would be the last option.
“I hope we would not come to that point,” he said.
Costas and Magpale suggested to the stakeholders to submit a proposal containing their interests and concerns.
These proposals will be consolidated and will serve as bases in formulating policies and guidelines on how to co-manage the canyoneering sites.
While waiting for the co-management guidelines, both towns agreed to continue supervising the canyoneering activities under their respective jurisdiction.
“Mag iya-iya lang sa mi samtang wa pay tay guidelines,” said Badian Councilor Edwin Celeste.
Badian opened another entry point in Barangay Sulsugan after both towns raised the boundary issue with the DENR 7 survey.
The canyoneering tour resumed last Sept. 1 after the suspension of its operations last July by the Cebu provincial government due to safety concerns. (Kelvin Cañizares)