Composite team to re-inspect, determine crowd capacity of canyoneering site

The Cebu Provincial Government will send a composite team to re-assess the canyoneering site in the municipality of Alegria on June 30.

The group will also be tasked to determine the crowd capacity of the site to sustain its operation.

“We cannot accommodate more tourists than the area can provide,” said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo.

Montejo attended the meeting of Capitol and Alegria officials as well as tour operators for the policy making in the operation of canyoneering activities.

The Department of Tourism also attended the meeting last June 20 at the Capitol.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 will be part of the composite team together with its municipal counterpart and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRMMO).

To recall, Governor Hilario P. Davide III temporarily suspended the canyoneering activities in the town until end of July. Safety violations were noted, which prompted PDRRMO to recommend the suspension.

In its initial inspection, the PDRRMO also reported several tension cracks at the overhang where guests cue for a jump.

The canyoneering activities drew an average of 10,000 guests per month or more than 300 per day in the first quarter of the year.

Barangay Compostela, Alegria enacted an ordinance limiting their guests to 75 persons daily in the weekend and 150 heads in the holidays including Sundays and Saturdays. Barangay Captain Joseph Redula said they also designated Monday as the rest day of the river.

However, the figures could be adjusted upon the composite team’s recommendation after the June 30 appointment.

The PRDDRMO already conducted swift water rescue training to 15 tour guides in Kanlaob Falls-Alegria’s canyoneering site. However, 40 more tour guides lack the same training.

Tour operators in the neighboring town of Badian were also interested to have their own tour guides participate in the training.

Montejo also recommended that the municipality of Badian be part of the composite team considering that the guests of Kanlaob Falls usually exit in Kawasan Falls in Badian. The two (2) falls belong to a common watershed, he said.

Badian, however, is in the transition period following the loss of its incumbent mayor. Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon said that they have to wait for the incoming municipal officials to assume office before they can coordinate their activities.