Kaybiang Tunnel in Cavite is a familiar and popular location for travelers, whether on four wheels or two. They frequently take the opportunity to stop along the road and have their pictures taken, often posing with the tunnel serving as a backdrop.
The hashtag #KeepKaybiangSafe was launched together with the governor's advisory
But those days are likely over. Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla posted on his Facebook account that he is declaring the 300-meter long passageway and its surroundings a ‘No Tourism Zone’, citing reports of traffic congestion, improper garbage disposal, and even scuffles brought about by visitors converging in the area. The ban takes effect on Friday, March 19, and will prohibit the following:
- Vehicles parking in the vicinity of Kaybiang Tunnel
- Cyclists using the tunnel for leisure purposes
- Eating in the vicinity of the tunnel
- Taking selfies in or near the tunnel
- Loitering in the area
- Using horns inside the tunnel
To enforce the ban, checkpoints manned by Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel will be put up in Tanza, Naic, Maragondon, and Ternate. Remulla also encouraged residents to report violations and other irregular activities in the area.
"Hindi ko naman kagustuhan ang basagan ng trip. Ngunit responsabilidad ko din na siguraduhin na maayos ang (flow) ng traffic at maintenance ng law and order sa ating mga lansangan," he said.
(I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade. But I also have the responsibility to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and the maintenance of law and order in Cavite's roads)
Improper garbage disposal has been a problem in the area
Currently the longest underground highway tunnel in the country, Kaybiang Tunnel was formally opened in 2013, linking Cavite and Batangas on the scenic Ternate-Nasugbu Highway. From an average of 200, the number of people visiting the tunnel has surged to 2,500 in 2020.
In a follow up post, Remulla also included Patungan Beach and Patungan Munti as part of the restricted areas under the ban, on the following grounds:
- Lack of sanitary facilities such as restrooms and waste disposal bins
- No lifeguards on duty, resulting in reported drowning deaths every year
- No designated parking areas as the properties are situated on private land
- Vendors that do business in the area do not have the necessary business and food handling permits from the local government
He warns motorists that the PNP Highway Patrol Group is tasked to secure and maintain traffic flow in these areas. Riders of non-motorized two-wheeled vehicles going to Nasugbu will not be allowed passage and are advised to find alternate routes. Violators will have their vehicles clamped, with penalties to be paid at the governor’s office in Trece Martires City.
Be updated with news on the latest traffic developments at Philkotse.com.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo