TACLOBAN

Burauen demands apology over 'misleading' report on volcano

LEYTE. Photo shows the view from the top of the sulphur deposits in Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park in Burauen, Leyte. (Photo from Burauen Tourism: Best of Burauen)

THE local government unit (LGU) of Burauen, Leyte is requesting for an official apology from radio station Bombo Radyo over its misleading report about the Mahagnao Volcano, which has caused panic among Burawanons and adversely impacted the town's tourism development efforts.

Burauen Mayor Juanito E. Renomeron assured that Mahagnao Volcano, which is among the town's major tourist attractions, has shown no signs of eruption. It last erupted in 1895.

“We would like to assure the people of Burauen and the whole of Leyte that it is not true that there are cracks on the road leading to the volcano. There is an ongoing road repair, but that has been scheduled already a few years back and not because of so-called cracks caused by volcanic activity. We are also confident that if there is something to be alarmed of, the concerned government office that is diligently monitoring the area would naturally inform the LGU first,” the mayor said.

“You don’t have to take our word for it, though. You might as well see for yourself and visit the beautiful MVNP. LGU-Burauen and the Burawanons are more than happy to welcome you to our place,” he added.

Renomeron said the radio report, which circulated Tuesday, November 5, was irresponsible and made without even taking into consideration its effect on the public and the province.

“They should have counterchecked the information and established its veracity first before even reporting it. That is a mark of good reporting. While Bombo Radyo is a highly respected media outlet, it has not lived up to that billing this time, causing undue stress on my constituents,” the mayor said.

The radio station later issued a clarification but Renomeron said the damage has been done and a formal apology is in order.

The volcano, located inside the Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park (MVNP), is among the major tourist draws of the town, which is partnering with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in developing ecotourism inside the protected area.

The LGU created this year the Burauen Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism (BEST) Project, a two-year project that is aimed at making the MVNP a major ecotourism destination in this part of the country.

Renomeron said queries from residents and their relatives outside the country inundated the LGU shortly after Bombo Radyo came up with the report on Tuesday, catching everyone by surprise.

Bombo Radyo quoted the Office of the Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas as saying it is conducting hazard mapping after the volcano has shown signs of “irregularity”, raising fears on “earthquake-induced volcanic eruption”.

The mayor said even the Mahagnao residents were surprised by such a report because they have not noticed anything amiss in their community.

He assured both locals and visitors alike that there is nothing to worry about the volcano. (From PR/SunStar Philippines)


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