Garcia orders temporary suspension of canyoneering in Matutinao, Badian
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, on Friday, June 2, 2023, temporarily closed and suspended canyoneering activities in Barangay Matutinao, Badian in Cebu, beginning on Friday until further notice.
Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 14 as a preventative measure following the discovery of illegal structures and potentially dangerous ruins in the area.
“Any injury or mishap resulting from the gross neglect of the possible dangers that these illegal structures and dangerous ruins may cause to the public would definitely adversely affect the tourism industry of Cebu,” reads the EO.
A joint ocular inspection conducted by the Municipality of Badian and the police, in February 2023, at the Kawasan Falls area revealed the presence of hazardous metallic spikes and illegal structures within the defined easement zones of the falls.
Moreover, an inspection conducted by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) at the abandoned CEBECO Dam- one of the famous canyoneering trails in Kawasan- also revealed a “life-threatening” passage of water beside the dam which ought to be repaired or removed.
Moreover, the Capitol said that a series of verified reports conducted by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources and other concerned agencies, such as the Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office, and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, showed that there is a need to abate the discovered illegal structures and dangerous ruins within the defined easement zones of Kawasan Falls to ensure the safety of the public.
These illegal structures and dangerous ruins, the Capitol said, were just left disregarded for over a year now.
“The Provincial Governor is also empowered to adopt adequate measures to safeguard and conserve land, marine, forest, and other resources of the province, in coordination with the mayors of the component cities and municipalities,” the EO reads.
Garcia then called upon the police to strictly monitor the implementation of her EO No. 14 against canyoneering, which took effect immediately upon signing on Friday. /rcg
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