Provincial Tourism Promotions Officer Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia, together with Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) personnel and representatives from LGU-Baras, pose for a picture after the ocular inspection of Binurong Point, guided by the caretaker, Mischelle Tariman, to validate the claims viral in social media regarding the speculations on the destruction of the tourist spot.
Binurong Point is “indefinitely closed to the public” as announced by Vicente “Teng” Sorreta, one of sons of the owner Col. Jose Sorreta of the said tourist spot, via his Facebook account on November 9, Friday.
The said tourist spot has been a hot topic in social media after photos of vehicles driving to Binurong Point through a newly-paved access road went viral and gained negative comments from the netizens.
“We closed Binurong Point not after the authorized expedition (where Papa was able to see it again after forty years), but rather after the irresponsible posts of netizens that brought undue anxiety and emotional stress to my family, especially to my 88-year-old father – a true blooded Catandunganon, a retired AFP officer (PMA 1954) and a veteran of the Vietnam War,” he stated in another Facebook post on November 10.
The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Catanduanes through the Provincial Tourism Office issued a statement on November 8, Thursday, during a press conference with media practitioners in the island to clarify the speculations that the Binurong Point has been damaged by the said expedition.
Provincial Tourism Promotions Officer Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia assured the public that after their ocular inspection, they found out that there was no permanent damage in the tourist spot.
“…upon validation of the site, together with the DENR and representatives from the local government unit of Baras, we found out that the area which was graciously opened by the private owners for tourism activities, is still in its pristine state,” she said.
“The access road where the vehicles passed through is on a different route apart from the usual trail. The act of opening that access was purely a prerogative of the owner of Binurong Point,” she furthered.
STILL IN ITS ‘PRISTINE STATE’. Majestic Binurong Point still has its Instagram-worthy charm, contrary to the negative assumptions of the public that its landscape was damaged as seen in the viral photos in Facebook.
Moreover, Garcia explained that Binurong Point is a privately-owned property and the vehicles that stayed overnight in Binurong, as seen in the viral pictures in Facebook, are owned by the personal guests of the Sorreta’s who went in an “incognito” trip to the island.
“The private owners of the Binurong Point acted according to their own constitutional rights without prior consultation or coordination to the provincial government especially to the Provincial Tourism Office,” Garcia said.
“Thus, we even recognize and respect that the owners have no responsibility to inform the PLGU,” she added.
Furthermore, the tourism officer expressed PLGU’s appreciation for the concerns brought by the citizens through social media.
“Let us make this a collective exercise of democratic process in the civil manner,” she said.
The family is now taking time to contemplate on the future of the said property.