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Cebu News

Sumilon sandbar to be closed once a month

Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad - The Freeman
Sumilon sandbar to be closed once a month
Oslob Mayor Jun Tumulak said this is part of the experiment he is taking to ensure that cleanliness in the area is maintained.
Contributed Photo

CEBU, Philippines — The famous sandbar of Sumilon Island in Oslob town will be closed every third Wednesday of the month starting in May.

Oslob Mayor Jun Tumulak said this is part of the experiment he is taking to ensure that cleanliness in the area is maintained.

He said that there is no written legislative action yet institutionalizing the move because it is still on its experimental stage, explaining the participation of the boatmen for the regular closure is "voluntary."

The results of the experiment would determine what legislative measures will be passed in the municipal council. Moreover, the municipal government will follow the recommendation of the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO).

PTO head Boboi Costas commended the closure of the island once a month after the one week closure for cleanup. Costas also urged the other towns and cities to draw inspiration from the course of action by the Oslob municipal government.

At present, the PTO has already conducted carrying capacity studies for the canyoneering of Alegria and Badian. The next on their list are the Tumalog Falls of Oslob and Moalboal.

Costas added that there are other towns which are also requesting for them to make a study but they can only entertain a limited number of clients at a time due to their limited manpower.

A carrying capacity study takes at least three months to finish but it would take several months more if they are to study diving spots because more factors have to be included and obtaining the data would not be easy.

Costas explained that taking good care of the natural environment would give long term results. One potential result is for the tourists to keep on coming back to the area which they once visited.

In an earlier interview of The FREEMAN, Tumulak said that the municipal government is also eyeing to close Tumalog Falls for one day every month.

After the closure last April 17-19, the habal-habal drivers who volunteered to clean the way to the falls were able to gather at least three dump trucks full of garbage. The mayor admitted that he is a little worried with the potential revenue loss for the closures but he emphasized that the future damage might cost higher if the environment is left unattended.

There are four major destinations in Oslob town –  sandbar, whale shark watching, Tumalog falls, and the Cuartel Park. Two of which have been closed temporarily. The mayor said that the municipal government is doing an assessment if there is a need to temporary close the Cuartel for a cleanup.

"Among gipaningkamutan nga maandam ang among mga destinations before April 26 (closure of Boracay Island) para ready na ta sa pag-receive sa mga tourists," he told THE FREEMAN in a phone interview. (FREEMAN)

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