Aguinid Falls to close for restoration
CEBU, Philippines — The Aguinid Falls in Samboan town, southern Cebu will be closed for a month for restoration.
The closure, which will start from June 17 to July 17, was announced on the official Facebook page of Barangay Tangbo, the Aguinid Tangbo.
The well-visited falls in Barangay Tangbo will be off limits to tourists since the barangay-managed eco-tourism site is up for “changes and reforms.”
“It’s time to let nature heals itself and for the barangay and guides to make some changes and reforms when it opens again to the public,” the post read.
The post also noted that the closure may be extended if necessary upon discretion of the barangay.
Irwin Gamallo, Samboan assistant tourism officer, said the temporary closure would allow Aguinid to “recover from the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
He said the village will also discuss new rules on visitor entry, especially on the imposition of safety gears and new fees.
This initiative elated Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who sits as co-chairman of the Cebu Provincial Tourism Council.
“I commend the local leaders there… We (local officials) should not wait for the national government to look into (the state of our tourist sites)… I congratulate the Samboan local officials,” she said.
Magpale said she has always been an advocate for sustainable tourism, wherein local officials and private site managers should also balance environmental conservation and economic gain.
The Aguinid Falls is a flourishing eco-tourism site, catering to more or less 100 tourists a day.
Tourist pays an entrance fee of P40.
Also, about 80 locals depend on the falls as their source of income, working as tour guides.
Magpale said it is better for tourist guides and other workers there to be vacant for one month than suffer long years of closure due to the site’s degradation.
Magpale said the Capitol has helped the village in putting up comfort rooms to maintain proper sanitation.
She hopes the local officials too will find measures to regulate tourist arrivals there by limiting its capacity or the number of people it will accommodate for a day.
Magpale is also calling out the attention of other local government units, who are managing eco-tourism sites, to follow suit.
As the outgoing vice governor is about to retire from public office, she takes pride in pushing for the enactment of the tourism code in Cebu province that has been continually amended to make it at par with the present times. (FREEMAN)