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Cebu News

Alegria regulates canyoneering

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Only accredited and trained tour guides will be allowed to supervise visitors going on canyoneering activities in Alegria town.

The new policy is contained in the municipal ordinance which took effect Friday last week.  Gadie Barro, media relations officer of Alegria, told The FREEMAN over the phone that local tour guides hired by the town are already trained on swiftwater rescue and first aid.

She said tour operators sending tour guides with their guests should also ensure that they are accredited by the town and underwent the same training.

Observance of safety standards, such as wearing of safety gears, is also mandatory for tour guides, as well as guests.

“The canyoneering is now systematic and organized to avoid accident. Alegria canyoneering (tour) guides are trained and they have swiftwater rescue training certificates,” Barro added.

She disclosed that many tour operators were fielding minor and untrained tour guides before. But now, it is already prohibited, she said.

She said the ordinance was passed to ensure the safety and prevent incident like what happened to a tour guide more than a year ago.

“Wa man to siya nagsul-ob og life vest pod,” she said.

She was referring to the drowning incident involving a local tour guide identified as Aldrin Carba, 26, who went missing past midday of July 26, 2014 when a strong current hit him while supervising 22 guests from Manila and Cagayan de Oro City. His body was found in the late afternoon the next day.

She further said that the number of visitors will be limited to five visitors per two tour guides. Alegria’s canyoneering trek starts in Kanlaob River.

Police personnel were also detailed to secure the area. Medical stations will also be mounted for emergency response.

Barro said the ordinance also seeks to safeguard the environment by laying down prohibitions such as littering, vandalism, and touching of river turtles.

The present rate for canyoneering is P1,500 pesos for each person. The amount covers the fee for the tour guide, safety gears, and transportation to nearby barangays. — (FREEMAN)

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