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Protection for Surigao’s Most Beautiful Tourist Spot

A lawmaker is attempting to include two of the country’s most beautiful places--the Enchanted River and Tinuy-an falls--in the list of protected areas to aid in preserving their unique features.
Rep. Johnny Pimentel has filed House Bills 2116 and 1903, claiming the two wonders of nature must be protected from any potential destructive human exploitation. 

“No effort must be spared to conserve the magical river and the majestic falls, both of which are now adamantly in danger of deterioration on account of unchecked human activities, spurred mainly by the growing number of local and foreign visitors.”, Pimentel said. (Pimentel is a member of the House committee on natural resources.)

He continues, “We want the Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls natural parks to become the focus of highly aggressive conservation efforts, so that future generations of Filipinos may continue to enjoy the marvels.”

The enchanted river is a beautiful, deep spring tributary located in Barangays Cambatong and Talisay in the municipality of Hinatuan.

The river’s name originated from the late Modesto Farolan, the country’s very first tourism commissioner who was entranced by the waterway’s organic beauty and wonder. This inspired him to pen a romantic poem entitled, “Rio Encantado.”

The clear blue, 270 m river flows into the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea through Hinatuan Bay. Also, the Tinuy-an Falls, is considered the broadest falls in the country. It has a diverse ecosystem that contains up to 235 kinds of animal and plant life, plenty of which are considered “endangered” or “vulnerable”.

Under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992,  sections of water and land may be reserved as “protected areas” by law or by presidential proclamation to enrich and guard their exceptional qualities. 

The Biodiversity Management Bureau, previously Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, handles all protected areas, with the assistance of local governments, or the state-run corporation that controls or owns the area.

So far, the bureau's list of 240 protected areas includes 35,700 square kilometers, or over 12 percent of the country’s total land area.

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