Rough sea conditions brought by tropical storm Hanna cancels the scheduled tours of the Underground River (File photo)

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) will be closed for its annual maintenance and “conservation break” from July 1 to 3.

Elizabeth Maclang, PPSRNP park superintendent, said the temporary suspension of tours in the park, which is being done on its fourth year, is intended to allow them to maintain its facilities and relieve pressure on the underground river.

“Magbi-break, maglilinis, magco-conduct ng maintenance. Kailangan din magpahinga ‘yong kuweba. Kailangang magpahinga din ‘yong park sa dami ng tao. Ang purpose niya ay to rest at magkaroon ng pagkakataon para sa paglilinis at repair,” Maclang said.

She said three days are actually not enough, but they can already cleanup and do maintenance checks on facilities that cater to the public.

Maclang said the PPSRNP operates for one whole year daily without breaks except for the three days they call “conservation break”.

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“Mahalaga ‘yong tatlong araw na ito, kahit na sa amin lang talaga napaka-kulang [pa nga] ng tatlong araw. Kulang ‘yong tatlong araw pero tinututukan talaga para ma-maximize ‘yong mga araw na ‘yong mga priorities sa maintenance, na maayos, malinis, iyong mga ‘yon ang inuuna namin,” she pointed out.

Maclang said for the past four consecutive years, the park has accommodated around 350,000 tourists per year or more than one million visitors.

She said tourism agencies have already been informed not to accept bookings during the 3-day period, pointing out that the first day is scheduled for the cleanup of the underground river area, central park station, and of their wharf office in Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Cabayugan.

Maclang said the second day will be allotted for the whole day rest of the PPSRNP staff.

The third day is for the conduct of coastal and river cleanups.

Maclang also noted the risks facing their staff during the rainy season as the river’s flow and movements are affected.

The cleanup will be participated by the PPSRNP staff, Brgy. Cabayugan Council, private establishments, and concerned citizens.

Meanwhile, the Community Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) communities near the area will also conduct team buildings and training-workshops during the 3-day break.

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