By Mark Francisco
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, July 20 (PNA) — The Oro Association of Rafters (OAR) eye new rates in “Whitewater River rafting” fees from the current P 700 to P 1,200 per person.
Chisum Factura, OAR representative, said on Sunday that rates adjustment are necessary in order to fully implement the safety measures imposed by the city government.
He said that the current paddling rates of midsection rafter would be increased from P 1,000 to P 2,000, too.There is the need to implement higher rates in order that the association could buy the needed additional safety equipment and for the construction of a top-of-the-line embarkation area near the river’s jump-off point, Factura said.
In the embarkation area, the rafters would undergo a short lecture about safety procedures while taking the tortuous 12-kilometer rapids of the Cagayan De Oro River, Factura said.
The embarkation facility would be constructed in barangay Mambuaya where the rafting for the river’s lower section and mid-section emanates, he said.
He said that the construction of the embarkation area (the place where the rafters will start the Whitewater rafting challenge) would already cost about P10 million, adding that the OAR expects to implement the new rates by the end of the year.
The OAR submitted the suggested rafting rates after the “Task Force Rapids” required the OAR to purchase waterproof and submersible radios that could be used in times of emergency.
The city government created the task force after the death of Aiza Balbin, a 26-year-old nurse from Loboc, Bohol, who drowned in the course of Whitewater River rafting last June 13, 2014.
The task force said that waterproof radios are better than mobile phones since the radios could still be used during and at times when the river guides are on the water.
Factura said that having an exclusive radio network between the river guides and rescuers also requires the installation of a radio repeater and a base around the river bend areas that would mean more expenses.(PNA)