OSLOB, Cebu – The local government of Dalaguete in southern Cebu is planning to waive the collection of entrance fees for those who wanted to hike at the Osmeña Peak during its reopening day on August 16, officials here announced.
Board Member Jose Mari ‘Tata’ Salvador of the province’s second district and Dalaguete Mayor Jeffrey Belciña made their announcement on Friday, July 31, during the first leg of the Capitol’s ceremonial reopening of its tourism industry in Oslob town.
Belciña, in a follow-up interview with reporters, said that the plan was made in line with their efforts to revive Dalaguete’s tourism industry, most of which are focused on trekking, camping, and mountaineering in the town’s hinterland areas.
“We would definitely want to waive all entrance fees to Osmeña Peak considering that it is one of our popular tourist destinations but the plan is still being ironed out,” Belciña said in Cebuano.
The mayor also said they are targeting to reopen the hiking and camping trail to the Osmeña Peak this August 16 after it was closed to the public for more than four months due to the threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Belciña said Dalaguete’s municipal government collects P50 as entrance fees from individuals who wanted to climb to the Osmeña Peak, a popular trekking and camping site for outdoor enthusiasts, from their side of the town.
“Before the lockdown occurred, we usually collect around P300,000 per month from entrance fees alone at the Osmeña Peak,” he added.
The peak formed part of a mountain range that borders the towns of Dalaguete in the southeast and Badian in the southwest while it is also known for its distinct formation of jagged hills.
Aside from the Osmeña Peak, the town of Dalaguete, which is located around 85 kilometers south of Cebu City, also hosts other famous outdoor tourist spots such as the Candungaw Peak and several farm resorts where guests can pick and harvest their choice of fruits and vegetables for a fee.
Belciña said that they are also planning to ramp up the promotion of their farm resorts.
“We will be coordinating with the provincial government on our plans. Hopefully, we can release and have some guidelines set before our scheduled reopening,” he said. / dcb