WV to enforce no permit, no hiking, camping policy for Semana Santa
While tourists are welcome in Western Visayas during Holy Week, those heading for camping and hiking sites will need to secure the proper permits first.
The reminder came from local government units of Miagao and San Joaquin towns in Iloilo province, especially as the Holy Week draws closer.
Authorities of the two towns noted the Philippine Army recently issued an unofficial advisory for tourists to refrain from mountaineering activities in Miagao, Igbaras, and San Joaquin towns due to clashes with the New People’s Army (https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/tourists-told-to-get-camping-hiking-permits/).
In San Joaquin, tourism officer Erlyn Alunan appealed to tourists and hikers to coordinate and secure permits from the LGU before hiking or camping on the mountains.
Alunan said they would endorse tourists who secure the permits to the barangays, where they will be provided with guides to ensure their safety.
She said they have been ensuring the safety of tourists, especially during Lenten season, even before the Army issued its advisory.
Tourists heading for San Joaquin usually go to Pan-ay, a shared territory of Miagao and San Joaquin where the access point is at Brgy. Ginot-an in San Joaquin.
Also, Alunan said many barangays celebrate their fiestas across the town during April, with some guests usually visiting friends and relatives.
In Miag-ao, Mayor Macario Napulan urged tourist and locals to coordinate with their office before hiking or going to tourist spots.
Napulan lamented locals and tourists would usually visit the tourist spots even without coordination with their office.
Miag-ao’s tourist spots include Tinagong Dagat and Rice Terraces.