The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has just given word that Mount Apo, the Philippines’ tallest mountain, may temporarily close down due to multiple violations from trekkers and mountaineers.
According to reports, DENR officials found out during their monitoring and assessment that the Kapatagan Trail was littered with trash, including beverage bottles and face masks, and that boulders have been vandalized. IATF protocols were not being followed by visitors either, who failed to observe social distancing, made loud noises along the trail and while in camp, and utilizing or cultivating areas beyond the strict protection zone.
DENR also revealed that they found evidence of illegal substances being used along the trail near the crater and the peak.
Mount Apo reopened to trekkers and mountaineers last November 2020. Only 25 visitors are allowed to climb per day, which is half of the normal capacity, in compliance with the new normal guidelines.
DENR XI Regional Director Bagani Evasco has urged the board members of the Protected Area Management Board to “strictly impose the environmental laws, even if it takes calling out or facing off the ‘big investors’.”
“If left unabated, the closure of Mt. Apo might be possible in the coming days, when necessary, in order to pave the way for the immediate rehabilitation of the Natural Park’s Trails and Campsites,” the DENR XI said in a statement.
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