WHILE the structures that have encroached within the 20-meter easement zone of the Kawasan Falls in Badian town, Cebu may have been identified already, the matter is still subject to confirmatory review.
So said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who reminded tour operators of the 30-day period she had given them to tear down their illegal structures.
On Oct. 30, 2019, the governor gave tour operators a month to clear the illegal structures. The deadline is on Saturday, Nov. 30.
“My understanding was, these structure owners have committed to remove (the illegal structures),” Garcia said on Monday, Nov. 18.
The governor added that she received an initial report on the matter when she visited Kawasan Falls on Saturday, Nov. 16, for the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo activities.
A report from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) revealed that 32 concrete cottages, 16 comfort rooms with 18 septic tank chambers, four dressing rooms and 77 picnic sheds violated the designated easement zone.
Garcia said the Provincial Engineering Office has identified the structures that must be cleared. However, she still has to review the Penro’s report.
“Should we encounter problems, we know what to do,” she said. “They have hefty fines and penalties to pay.”
If the tour operators fail to comply with their clearing orders by Nov. 30, the governor said the Provincial Government will implement its demolition operations.
SunStar Cebu had asked Badian Mayor Carmencita Lumain for an interview on the matter at the sidelines of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo activities, but she declined.
Kawasan Falls is a three-layered waterfalls and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the province.
Canyoneering tours are offered upstream of the Kawasan Falls, where the Matutinao River flows through a secluded canyon. (RTF)