The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) in Puerto Princesa is encouraging Irawan barangay officials to turn Masagana Falls, which is part of a local watershed, into an ecotourism destination.
The falls, located in the Palawan Flora and Fauna Watershed Reserve (PFFWR), is reportedly being frequented by locals as a picnic spot.
According to City ENRO head Atty. Carlo Gomez, however, littering has been prevalent in the reserve due to the lack of a management organization to oversee the location. During a river cleanup on Monday, he claimed they advocated the formation of a people’s organization (PO) to the barangay officials.
“We’ve been prodding the barangay officials of Irawan to submit and recommend a people’s organization as our partner in the PFFWR for us to turn over partial management of Masagana Falls as our program, to develop and help establish a barangay-based Environmental Tourism Group,” Gomez said in Facebook message on Tuesday.
“Itong Barangay-based Environmental Tourism Group ang mag-ooperate. Doon ibibigay sa kanila ang management ng Masagana falls. This is another economic activity that will boost economic opportunity kasi madaling puntahan. The City ENRO will participate in the planning in strictly protecting the PFFWR,” Gomez also said in a presser on Monday.
The cleanup was done on Monday by City ENRO staff, barangay officials, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). According to the City ENRO’s press release, around 15 large sacks of waste, mostly plastic packaging and liquor bottles. The City ENRO attributed the source of the waste to picknickers, who would visit the PFFWR in large groups.
The office is also urging the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) to fix access roads going to the falls so local tourists can safely visit the area.