BUTUAN CITY—One of Surigao del Sur’s tourism gems has reopened after the government finished building and repairing the road leading to the site in Bislig City.
Visitors can now enjoy the Tinuy-an Falls Eco Park, which features a waterfall known as the “Little Niagara of the Philippines” for its curtain of water cascading down a four-tier drop, the Bislig tourism office said.
The waterfall is 95 meters wide and 55 meters high. Visitors describe Tinuy-an Falls as a miniature version of Canada’s Niagara Falls.
“Now, it’s easier and less bumpy for tourists to visit Tinuy-an Falls,” said Lorelei Teresa Lim, tourism operations officer of Bislig City.
The final 2-kilometer stretch of road leading to the site was closed on July 4 to give way to the construction, she said.
The road is part of the 15-km, P398-million project that the Department of Tourism and the Department of Public Works and Highways started in early 2017.
The Bislig tourism office said Tinuy-an Falls earns an average of P8 million to P11 million out of the 150,000 to 160,000 people who visit the destination each year.
The local government collects a P50 entrance fee from each visitor.
Guests will shell out P150 if they want to use a raft that will bring them nearer to the waterfall drop.
The ecotourism destination is comanaged by indigenous peoples groups in the area, who receive 10 percent of the gross income.
The barangay government gets a 10-percent share from the earnings while another 10 percent goes to the local environment protection fund.
The rest of the earnings goes to maintenance and salary of 40 workers at the park.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (Penro) in Surigao del Sur said Tinuy-an Falls was part of Bislig’s protected landscape.
Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018 proclaimed it as one of the three protected areas in Caraga region.
Tinuy-an Falls and its watershed belong to the South Diwata Range, one of the key biodiversity areas within the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, and are noted for being the last remaining lowland dipterocarp forests in Mindanao.
The area is home to 144 species of flora, 33 of which belong to species considered to be nearing extinction, Penro said.
Its forest and waters serve as habitat for 91 species of animals consisting of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fish and crustaceans.
Lim said the tourism office would come out with measures to protect the park.