Mountain guide: Nepal needs to act fast to salvage Everest tourism business

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2019   •   2843

Camping tents on the way to Everest| Courtesy: Rizza Alee/Reuters

An experienced New Zealand mountain guide on Thursday (May 30) warned Nepalese authorities to act quickly to resolve the overcrowding and fatalities on the world’s highest mountain to keep the lucrative tourism business going.

Russell Brice, a mountaineer who came to Nepal in 1974 and has since then created a name for himself by helping over 400 climbers safely climb Mount Everest together with his organization, noticed many of the climbers today are not experienced and without proper gear.

He believes restricting the crowd to allow only the experienced climbers would reduce the numbers by 50 percent and curb down casualties.

“The authorities need to get to understand that we need proper mountaineering experience, proper altitude experience before we allow people on to Everest. If we do that, we will reduce the number of people there by 50 percent immediately,” he said.

“The people that are causing the problems are the ones without the experience, causing the traffic jams, causing the fatalities, making bad publicity and so it goes on. so we have been warning the ministry about this for a long, long time but no one takes any notice,” he added.

Over 381 climbers were permitted to scale the summit from the Nepali side this season, while 130 others were tackling Everest from the mountain’s northern side in Tibet.

Eleven people have already died in this year’s climb on both the Nepali and Tibetan sides, mostly due to exhaustion.

“The type of climber we are getting is getting less and less experienced,” Brice said.

“Our expeditions, we ask the people to climb another 8,000-metre peak before coming to Everest so that they can actually enjoy it much better. But they have expedition experience, they have the experience of how to camp, how to cook, how to climb, how to deal with the cold and the wind, and things like these,” he added.

The route, also called the South Col route, was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. About 5,000 people have scaled the Everest summit so far and about 300 have died on its slopes. (REUTERS)

Mga bibisita sa Quezon Memorial Circle, lilimitahan na ng QC LGU

Robie de Guzman   •   November 1, 2021

Magpapatupad ng ilang hakbang ang pamahalaan ng Quezon City upang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao sa Quezon Memorial Circle.

Ito ang inanunsyo ng lokal na pamahalaan matapos magkumpulan ang maraming tao sa Quezon Memorial Circle sa nakalipas na weekend.

Ayon kay Quezon City Assistance City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo, hahatiin nila sa pitong bahagi ang Quezon Memorial Circle na maaaring puntahan ng mga nais mamasyal sa lugar.

Bukas sa publiko ang mga sumusunod:

 

  • Fitness Trail
  • Playground
  • Tropical Garden
  • Flower Garden
  • Rock Garden
  • World Peace Bell
  • Quezon City Experience Museum

Ayon kay Kimpo, lalagyan ng bakod ang bawat lugar at limitado lamang ang bilang ng mga taong papayagang pumasok sa anomang oras.

“The Quezon Memorial Circle Administration will provide adequate number of personnel to man the entrance and exit point to each of these zones. So, rest assured na yung papasok po doon sa zone will be strictly enforced in terms of yung maximum restrictions as to numbers,” dagdag pa niya.

Mag-iikot rin sa bawat zone ang mga kawani ng Task Force Disiplina upang matiyak na nasusunod ang minimum public health standards kabilang na ang pagsusuot ng face mask, regular na sanitation at physical distancing.

Una nang inanunsyo ng Quezon City government na bukas na ang Quezon Memorial Circle sa publiko, pati na sa mga bata, ngunit hanggang 30% lamang ng kapasidad nito.

Manila Bay office exec relieved from post over dolomite beach overcrowding

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– The ground commander assigned to oversee the Manila Bay dolomite beach has been relieved from his post over last weekend’s overcrowding incident.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu announced that he has removed Manila Bay Coordinating Office deputy executive director Jacob Miemban Jr. from his post.

Cimatu said he ordered Miemban’s relief amid the investigation on the overcrowding incident in the dolomite beach.

“We’re not making him a sacrificial lamb. He already said that being the commander, he takes full responsibility for what happened,” Cimatu said.

“While appreciating the gesture of that, kailangan imbestigahan pa rin naman yung nangyari,” he added.

Retired General Ruel Sorilla, who serves as officer-in-charge and director of DENR’s Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service, will take over Miemban’s post.

Cimatu said Sorilla has been tasked to strictly implement health protocols in the area that has attracted droves of visitors.

The DENR earlier said it has improved its protocols in admitting visitors to the dolomite beach to prevent the occurrence of similar incident.

It is also eyeing to temporarily close the man-made beach from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3.

The dolomite beach was reopened to the public last Oct. 16 when Metro Manila shifted to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from Level 4 amid decreasing coronavirus cases.

Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

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