Os­lob lim­its sand­bar vis­its to 500 a day

NEW RULES TO PRO­TECT AT­TRAC­TION

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - JUSTIN K. VESTIL / Re­porter @JKVSunS­tar

Os­lob re­opens its sand­bar but caps num­ber of vis­i­tors at 500 per day. Af­ter the week­long cleanup of its sand­bar and dive sites, the town will shift its at­ten­tion to­day to Tu­ma­log Falls, which some 500 a day al­ready visit.

Os­lob’s of­fi­cials will im­ple­ment new reg­u­la­tions to pre­vent pol­lu­tion on its sand­bar and dive sites near Su­milon Is­land, in­clud­ing a cap of 500 tourists per day.

The new reg­u­la­tions will take ef­fect to­day and fol­low a week-long cleanup, when some two tons of as­sorted waste were gath­ered.

In a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day, El­iz­a­beth Benologa, Os­lob tourism of­fi­cer, said that start­ing to­day, the town will limit tourist vis­its to the sand­bar of Su­milon Is­land to 500 per­sons per day.

Benologa told re­porters that lim­it­ing the num­ber of tourists on the sand­bar is aimed at pre­vent­ing the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of solid waste there.

The Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment has also re­quired boat op­er­a­tors who ferry tourists to the sand­bar to pro­vide black bags to their cus- tomers so they can avoid leav­ing any solid waste, Benologa said.

Benologa said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity al­ready has an or­di­nance that pro­hibits the dis­posal of waste in pub­lic ar­eas.

Aside from lim­it­ing the num­ber of peo­ple oc­cu­py­ing the sand­bar, Benologa said they are also lim­it­ing the num­ber of hours that tourists can stay in the area.

The limit is three hours, but Benologa said they could pro­vide ex­cep­tions es­pe­cially dur­ing the peak sea­son.

Mem­bers of the Banco­gon Os­lob Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion (BOFA) said that as the stew­ards as­signed to pro­tect and man­age the sand­bar and dive sites owned by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, they have a tough job ahead of them.

Ro­drigo Ma­galzo, BOFA vice pres­i­dent, told re­porters that their mem­bers will be watch­ing the sand­bar from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily to en­sure that it will re­main clean.

But Ma­galzo said they are con­cerned about some tourists who refuse to use the town-oper­ated com­fort room and opt to re­lieve them­selves in the wa­ter.

En­rico Mon­santo, Blue­wa­ter Is­land Re­sort mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager, told re­porters that their re­sort con­structed the com­fort room near the sand­bar and they were will­ing to as­sist the LGU if one CR is not enough.

He praised the Os­lob Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment for the cleanup, as it cre­ated a lot of good public­ity for the town and their re­sort.

Still in Os­lob, around 50 ha­bal-ha­bal driv­ers have com­mit­ted to help the Os­lob Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment clean up Tu­ma­log Falls start­ing to­day.

Start­ing to­day un­til Thurs­day, the Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment will clean up Tu­ma­log Falls.

Os­lob Mayor Jose “Jun” Tu­mu­lak Jr. said this is the town’s re­sponse to the find­ings made by the Cebu Pro­vin­cial En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Of­fice (PENRO), which in­spected the site last week and found some garbage.

SUNSTAR FOTO / ARNI ACLAO

NOW BACK IN BUSI­NESS. Af­ter a week­long clo­sure, a pic­turesque sand­bar in Su­milon Is­land wel­comes guests again in Os­lob town. This time, though, some new rules will ap­ply.

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