AROUND three truckloads of assorted waste were collected by local officials and volunteers during the first day of the cleanup drive at Tumalog Falls in the southern town of Oslob yesterday.
Oslob Mayor Jose “Jun” Tumulak Jr. told SunStar Cebu that the trash they recovered was composed of non-biodegradable waste like disposed junk food wrappers and plastic bottles, and organic waste like rotten leaves and fallen bamboo debris.
The cleanup started at 8 a.m.
Aside from local officials, 20 personnel from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) 7, based in Sibonga town, and 30 habal-habal drivers, who ferry passengers to the site, joined the activity.
Tumulak said he was glad that the habal-habal drivers, who belong to two associations in Barangay Tumalog, participated in the cleanup.
“I am happy that they are now aware of the importance of cleaning their surroundings. If they fail to see this, then it would also mean the end of their livelihood as they are dependent on Tumalog Falls for their income,” Tumulak said, in Cebuano.
Tumulak said with the three truckloads of garbage they collected, there is a possibility that they might limit visitors to the site like what they did to the sandbar at Sumilon Island.
However, the mayor said they will only do this after the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) concludes its study on the Tumalog Falls’ actual carrying capacity.
Last Monday, officials of the Municipal Government announced that they would limit the number of tourists who visit the sandbar and dive sites at Sumilon Island.
The 500-person limit was made after the PTO conducted a study on the sandbar’s carrying capacity.
Aside from limiting visitors to the sandbar, local officials are also requiring pumpboat operators under the Tan-awan Oslob Sea Warden and Fishermen Association to provide black bags to tourists they ferry to the site to minimize indiscriminate waste disposal.