Mt. Apo trails in Davao del Sur temporarily closed due to El Niño
DAVAO CITY — Starting April 1, visitors would be barred from climbing and camping at Mt. Apo because of the El Niño phenomenon.
The Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) issued the temporary closure order on March 28 in a bid to prevent possible forest fires during the dry season.
Frank Buenaflor, of the Davao del Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, said the order on trails covering Sta. Cruz, Digos, and Bansalan in Davao del Sur, is a preemptive move especially after vast areas of Mt. Apo caught fire in 2016.
As early as March 7, the North Cotabato trails of Mt. Apo have also been closed.
“In order to decrease the risk of fire until Pagasa lifts the declaration of El Niño,” Buenaflor noted.
Mountaineers expressed their support to the temporary closure order.
Jose Abajero, project chair of Lapuk Mountaineer, said this is for the protection of Mt. Apo and encouraged other groups to support the government’s initiative.
“We will just reschedule our climb,” said Tessa Abajero, also a member of Lapuk Mountaineer.
PAMB warned violators of the order will be charged for breach of Republic Act 9237 or Mt. Apo Protected Area Act of 2003. /kga
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