During closure, some visitors still enjoyed Kawasan Falls, says Badian town mayor

Posted on October 26, 2012

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EVEN during the six-month official closure of the Kawasan Falls , some lucky visitors were allowed entry, said Badian Mayor Robburt Librando yesterday.

He was asked about the Cebu Daily News photo on Wednesday showing foreign tourists bathing in the falls or about to ride a raft in the lagoon hours before Gov. Gwen Garcia announced the partial lifting of her closure order.

The mayor said the foreigners were part of a group of students conducting a study about the waterfalls.

Librando said Badian town, which collects entrance fees in the site, also allowed vistitors in during the town fiesta and the fiesta of barangay Matutinao, adding that Governor Garcia was informed about these exceptions, such as the visit of the students.

The rest of the time, he said, the Badian municipal government enforced the order to close the nature spot to tourists.

Capitol crews used the time to demolish illegal picnic and resort structures that encroached a 40-meter easement zone by the Matutinao River.

Barangay tanods were stationed at the entrance of the falls to stop people from entering.

A total of 86 porters underwent a two-day training with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in prepration for the reopening of the Kawasan Falls to tourists, said Libranda.

Matutinao barangay councilor Lelia Doque told CDN the training was aimed to enhance the ability of porters to deal with tourists.

The training include modules on the importance of eco-tourism, first aid and customer service.

Doque said the barangay is still busy trying to improve the image of the falls which Governor Garcia lamented had deteriorated because of “crass commercialism” and lack of sanitation.

Plans include constructing comfort rooms and better recreation facilities. /Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus
 

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