Kawasan opens, but guides required; Boljoon cleans up
Kawasan Falls, which sustained damage from tropical depression Queenie, opened to the public yesterday, but authorities will require tourists to have tour guides.
In Boljoon town, residents started cleaning up a flooded school to the resumption of classes today.
According to village chief Clemente Emperado of barangay Matutinao, the local government unit of Badian town lifted the closure order of the multi-level falls, a frequented tourist destination.
“The visitors can’t go to the falls without the tour guides. They need to follow the rules,” he said.
“If they (visitors) would insist not to have tour guides with them then we will ask them to go home,” Emperado added.
Tour guides are needed since roads are impassable and the third bridge before Kawasan Falls is damaged. Visitors need to be assisted when crossing the river. Workers have also installed safety ropes across the river.
Visitors need to pay P300 for each tour guide. They are required to accompany the tourists until they get out of the tourism complex.
Emperado said that one tour guide is needed for every five tourists.
CDN was able to witness a group of students from Cebu Doctors University (CDU) who visited the tourist destination yesterday.
“We also did not know what happened to Kawasan Falls due to typhoon Queenie. Since it’s also our first time here, then it’s fine for us to have tour guides with us,” said Tiffany Martinez, a 20-year-old student.
Florabel Acain, the collector at the entrance admitted difficulty explaining to guests the new policy.
“Lisod sad usahay uy kay naay uban mamugos na wala na lang guide kay kahibaw na sila sa lugar pero unsaon ta man kinahanglan namo ng sundon kay para safety ra sad nila,” she told Cebu Daily News.
(It is sometimes difficult to explain to visitors. Some would insists in going without a guide, saying they are already familiar with the area. But we have to implement the policy for their safety.)
Acain said that there were group of foreign nationals who were not able to go to Kawasan Falls yesterday because they have their own tour guide as part of the package deal tour.
Bonifacio Eleccion, one of the tour guides said that they are glad that Kawasan Falls is open again after three days.
“Malipay na gani mi bisag P150 among makita. Maayo na ana ah ang importante kay naa me pagkaon ug kwarta mapadala sa among pamilya,” Eleccion said.
(We are already glad to have P150 income. That’s good enough for us to feed our family.)
Eleccion has three mouths to feed and is the breadwinner of the family. There are 80-90 tour guides that have been affected with the temporary closure after Queenie damage portions of the falls.
Armed with brooms, shovels and water hoses, residents and government personnel of Boljoon town had to clean up mud-swathed sitio Riverside in Poblacion, Boljoon town.
The classrooms of Boljoon Elementary School were flooded knee-deep that teachers and some volunteers had to clean all the mud and debris brought by the flood from typhoon Queenie last week.
Barangay and municipal roads including the road going to the municipal abbatoir were also cleared from fallen trees and rocks.
Poblacion Barangay captain Alexseus Celis said affected residents could not transport their housing materials because the roads were impassable.
The Bureau of Fire Department (BFP) of Boljoon helped in washing off and cleaning the roads.
The entire barangay Poblacion of Boljoon was flooded and even reached up to waistline in some areas when the river overflowed affecting the residents up to the coastal communities.
Celis said some families affected were temporarily housed at the Barangay Day Care Center.
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