Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol expressed his disgust over the trash thrown and left behind by tourists who visited the Hermit Mountain, which is now a popular tourist destination, in former rebel-controlled Brgy. Bi-ao, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.
Mirasol admitted that they have lost control over the area, as thousands of tourists from different areas of Negros Occidental and even outside of the province, have flocked to the new destination over the past several months.
He however said they are now mapping out plans on how to address the influx of tourists, especially on weekends, along with the problem of garbage.
While he deployed Bantay Bukid Brigade members to clean the area, Mirasol said the manpower is not enough to cover the whole area, which is several kilometers long.
Mt. Hermit is now a favorite destination of tourists from other areas of Negros Occidental, especially bikers and hikers, due to the breathtaking scenic views it offers, which has been likened to Baguio City.
Mirasol called on the visiting tourists to be responsible in the disposal of their garbage, encouraging them to bring their trash back to their point of origin
He also clarified that the municipal government is not authorizing anybody to collect entrance fees, as they have yet to finalize its rules and regulations on the entry tourists.
“We gave everyone a fair warning, if this [doesn’t] stop you leave us with no choice!” Mirasol warned.
However, he did not elaborate further.
(Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)