SAGADA, Mountain Province — The Municipal Tourism Council of this scenic town has proposed the closure of caves to tourists during the rainy season for safety reasons.
Mayor James Pooten said closure of caves which are frequented by tourists is aimed at protecting the tourists from any danger to ensure that they enjoy their stay in Sagada
The mayor explained that during the rainy days, it is very dangerous to go inside the scenic caves particularly the Sumaguing Cave since there is always the danger of flashflood inside the caves.
Some drowning incidents due to flashfloods following heavy rains have been recorded in the caves of Sagada in the past years.
Aside from the safety of tourists, the closure of the caves will also be for their “rest and rejuvenation” from being used almost daily. Sagada has been practicing the traditional “ubaya” (rest day) that includes the temporary closure of tourists spots.
Pooten explained that if the proposal which will still be presented and discussed by the different sectors in the municipality would be approved, it would be implemented from June to August or depending on the declaration of the rainy season and the weather condition of Sagada.
Although this period is considered as the lean season for tourism in Sagada, hundreds of visitors are still coming during the weekends.
Pooten explained that with the onset of the rainy season this June, the different tourism sites in Sagada such as the hanging coffins, the Echo Valley, trekking sites, waterfalls and caves are still open to tourists. However, tourists should always be accompanied by a legitimate guide and should follow all the rules and regulations of the municipality.
Last year, the local government unit came out with new guidelines to ensure that laws and rules in the municipality are observed and for the safety of the tourists. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)