Legazpi City tour operator faces loss of DOT permit
LEGAZPI CITY—The tour agency employed by the four German mountaineers who died along with their Filipino guide when Mayon Volcano exploded on Tuesday could lose its accreditation as a service provider of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Regional DOT Director Maria Ravanilla told the Inquirer in a phone interview Wednesday that she had recommended to Legazpi Mayor Geraldine Rosal the revocation of the license to operate granted to Bicol Adventure, which is owned by local businessman Marti Calleja.
Ravanilla said the move was prompted by the agency’s alleged failure to follow strict tour guidelines being jointly enforced by the DOT, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the provincial government of Albay on mountain climbing.
She said Bicol Adventure violated the rule on hiring accredited and trained guides for the German mountaineers. The guides are required to undergo the province-initiated survival and first-aid training program.
Bicol Adventure likewise failed to secure the permit to climb from the DENR, said Ravanilla.
The tour company was also held liable for using Barangay (village) Bonga in Bacacay town, which is not officially recognized as an entry point for sanctioned climbs.—Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon