Cebu News

Badian: No joint tourism committee

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The local government unit of Badian is opposing the creation of the Alegria-Badian River Tourism Committee saying it “doesn’t serve for the best interest of both towns.”

 This is in contrary to Alegria’s non-opposition to the idea, which Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon said “is a welcome development. The policies under the EO will finally settle the problems.”

 Badian Mayor Carmencita Lumain said the EO only favors their neighboring town Alegria.

 “We want a fair and unbiased resolve and we find this latest executive order prejudicial to our right of existence as an autonomous local government unit,” Lumain’s position paper dated Nov. 24 read. It was addressed to Governor Hilario Davide III. 

 She said the rule stipulated in the EO mandating that all canyoneering activities will start in Compostela, Alegria town and will exit at Kawasan in Badian town is “biased and subservient to Alegria’s original plan to expand their clout on other territorial grounds.”

 Badian wants an entrance point at Barangay Sulsugan.

 In fact, when canyoneering operations resumed on Sept. 1, Badian town established an entry point for canyoneering in Barangay Sulsogan.

 Badian Councilor Edwin Celeste earlier said this stemmed after Alegria operators cut short the canyoneering tour, excluding Kawasan.

 The move of Alegria operators has affected Badian economically since they can no longer collect P195 for locals and P215 for foreigners as “taripa,” which is already incorporated in the P1,500 canyoneering fee, Celeste said. 

The canyoneering activities in the area resumed on September 1 after three months of closure due to safety issues raised by the provincial government. The Kanlaob River has become popular among adrenaline junkies.

 Lumain said Alegria has been persistently insisting on the “legal supremacy: of the latest cadastral survey conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “to be able to expand their political territory in order to serve their vested interests.”

 According to Magallon, the result of the survey showed that the whole stretch of Kanlaob River belongs to Alegria.

 The survey, she said, was requested by both the LGUs of Badian and Alegria to resolve the boundary dispute.

 “Badian should respect the result of the survey and the EO of the governor. They should observe them to prevent chaos. Their defiance will have a huge effect on our tourism. Please follow what is right. Tanan nalang supakon ug dili tumanon,” she said.

 But Lumain said the boundary dispute is “capitalized” by Alegria “without any substantial basis.”

 “…made them hope that the issue would be ruled to their favor by upholding the cadastral survey, but this has not been acted upon yet,” she said.

 “It is very clear that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has not delivered its verdict until now because in fact there is no existing boundary dispute to speak of,” she added.

  The political boundaries, Lumain said, have already been established and mutually agreed on by both municipalities long before as evidenced by the installed municipal boundary markers.

The markers, she said are “prima facie evidence” of the established political boundary agreed and recognized by both LGUs.

 She said there was never any recorded protest raised about the boundary until the canyoneering adventure became popular.

 “This belated contention on the legality of the established and recognized political boundary is an apparent lean toward their desire to take control and have exclusivity of the canyoneering acidity in the first place,” she said.

 She said they adhered on the established political boundary for “proper delineation of its area of jurisdiction.”

 Hence, she said the entry point for this activity is in Sulsogan.  

 Lumain said further that the tourism packages of Badian and Alegria are distinct.

 “My administration is at a quandary as to why our right to independence is constantly and consistently pestered by the unwarranted clamor of our neighbor town when they can manage and market their own separate tourism package. Added to the fact that the provincial government seems blind to the existence of Badian’s own and separate canyoneering activity. As if the canyoneering activity couldn’t exist without Alegria. Fortunately, we have our own independently,” she said.

 Lumain then said they are not open to cooperative management since the Alegria-Badian River Tourism in the past was not sanctioned by either municipality.

 “It was also found and proven to be not feasible,” she added.

  Davide earlier said that he explained to Lumain that the establishment of entrance in Compostela, Alegria is based on the findings and recommendation of the tourism officer.

 “I made it clear that I’m not taking sides when I issued this EO,” he said.

 Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito Costas, who also received a copy of the position letter, told The Freeman that Davide is amenable to Badian’s position to establish entry point in Sulsogan and implement their own tourism packages.

 “The EO will remain in effect. The province will coordinate with them and oversee their operations but they can have their respective packages implemented and promote canyoneering separately,” he said adding that they are still studying the position paper of Badian.

  “We will find a way on how to deal with it soon,” Costas added (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment




  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with