Surigao del Sur's Tinuy-an Falls to close for road construction, rehabilitation

Erwin M. Mascariñas

Posted at May 21 2018 07:06 AM | Updated as of May 21 2018 07:49 AM

Tourists take a raft made of bamboo known as 'paypag' towards the middle of the main waterdrop of Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City. Erwin M. Mascariñas

BUTUAN CITY -- The local government of Bislig City in Surigao del Sur province announced that the renowned tourist destination Tinuy-an Falls, which has been dubbed the Niagara Falls of the Philippines, will be temporarily closed for 45 days for road construction and rehabilitation.

“There will be a temporary closure of road leading to Tinuy-an Falls for 45 days effective June 4 to July 18, 2018, for the completion of road construction. Accordingly, Tinuy-an Falls will also be temporarily closed on the same dates,” said Engr. Rose Lee Cancio, information officer of Bislig City.

According to Cancio, the announcement was made to inform and warn tourists and visitors from making the trip to Bislig City only to find out that the destination is closed.

Ma. Ana T. Nuguid, regional director for Department of Tourism in Caraga Region, confirmed the temporary closure.

"The road construction project for Tinuy-an Falls started long before I became the regional director of DOT here in Caraga. Hopefully with the road leading to the falls, it will be more convenient for visitors to travel and in less time than that with the old muddy road," said Nuguid.

Lorelei Teresa D. Lim, tourism operations officer of Bislig City, revealed that the closure of road area leading to Tinuy-an Falls is a necessary undertaking for the local government unit.

“The construction of the entire 15-kilometer road with three bridges started in 2016 with a project estimated cost of P398 million as part of the LGU, Department of Tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways convergence known as Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP) that was initially proposed in 2014,” said Lim.

Lim explained that “parallel to the ongoing road construction, the LGU will have its own rehabilitation work on our tourist facilities in Tinuy-an Falls to hopefully upgrade and repair some of the amenities in the area.”

According to the tourism officer, the road construction will cover the remaining three kilometers of unpaved road as well as the construction of concrete slope barriers and drainage.

Lim added: “We are also preparing new policies to hopefully implement safety and environmental regulations for visitors. Visitors pay around P50 when they come to Tinuy-an and the area can hold up to 1,000 guests in a day but not all at the same time.”

“On an average, Tinuy-an Falls earns around P8 million annually and sometimes even reach as high as P11 million in a single year. This is from the 150,000 to 160,000 people who visit us in a single year,” she concluded.

The Tinuy-an Falls ecotourism destination is co-managed by the indigenous people who receive 10% of the gross income. Another 10% goes to the barangay, 10% for the environmental protection fund and the rest to the maintenance and salary of 40 employees.

The Tinuy-an Dalls are 95 meters wide and 55 meters (180 feet) high. It has been dubbed as the little Niagara Falls of the Philippines because of the wide curtain of water that cascades from the four-tier drop.