18 Badian tour guides positive for illegal drugs
At least 18 tour guides in Badian town tested positive for illegal drugs in a surprise drug test on Wednesday conducted by elements of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO).
All 18 have their tourist guide accreditation cancelled immediately.
Located 103.5 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, Badian town is a favorite tourist destination famous for its Kawasan Falls and canyoneering activities.
Badian Tourism Officer Donald Villarin said it is important for tour guides to be drug-free.
“The significance of this is all for the safety of local and international tourists. Aron limpyo mi sa (so that we are clean of the) drug problem,” he said in a phone interview.
Villarin said that 456 persons have undergone the test including himself, some 30 policemen and tour guides.
He said that Badian Mayor Carmencita Lumain instructed them to immediately cancel the accreditation of the 18 tour guides whom he refused to name.
“As far as the tourism industry in Badian, they are excluded from the list of (accredited) tourist guides,” he said.
Villarin added that tour operators are also instructed not to hire tour personnel who are using drugs. There are about 37 canyoneering tour operators in Badian, he said.
“Kinsa tong operators nga mogamit nila as tour guides will have their license revoked,” he added.
Meanwhile, Badian Councilor and Tourism Committee Chairman Mark Andrew Jorolan lauded the move to have tour guides tested for illegal drugs.
“We do not tolerate the use of drugs especially in the tourism industry,” he said. “This will really help a lot in promoting the image of Badian as a safe haven for tourists,” Jorolan added
Last month, Badian tour guide Willard Capacio was arrested in a buy-bust operation. He said that his supplier was an inmate in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
Villarin clarified that Capacio was not an accredited tour guide and has not undergone proper training.
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