2.6 tons of garbage left by climbers at Mt. Apo—PAMB
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines — Some 2.6 tons of garbage left by mountain climbers were collected from Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak, during a cleanup drive last week.
According to Joey Recimilla, chairman of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) committee on eco-tourism, the bad habits of Mt. Apo climbers that have been destroying the natural beauty of the country’s highest peak must be stopped.
“We collected 2.6 tons of garbage during our three-day (June 10-13) cleanup drive,” Recimilla said of the activity participated in by more than 300 climbers from Kidapawan City, Magpet and Makilala towns in North Cotabato and from Bansalan town and Digos City in Davao del Sur.
“This is total disregard of our desire to keep the flora and fauna of the national park healthy,” Remicilla said of the practice of some climbers to leave garbage behind.
Recimilla, also Kidapawan City tourism chief, said he was saddened by finding non-biodegradable materials along various trails and at the peak of Mt. Apo.
Common among the garbage collected were candy wrappers, cellophane, empty plastic water bottles and even sanitary napkins and cigarette butts.
“These non-biodegradable will destroy the forest, will destroy the natural beauty of Mt. Apo … this practice, consciously or unconsciously by climbers must be stopped,” he said in a radio interview.
The Kidapawan City tourism office has scheduled several mountain climbing activities and, according to Recimilla, his office has not been remiss in reminding participants that their adventure should be accompanied by responsibility.
He said climbers were even discouraged from bringing breakable bottles up there to avoid accidents that may cause injuries to other climbers.
Cleaning Mt. Apo this year was not something new, he admitted.
But the amount of garbage collected this year was tremendous.
Recimilla said the idea of coming up with one trail for climbing and descending has been considered by the local government units surrounding the highest peak.
Currently, Mt. Apo has about five or six trails that climbers could use in reaching the peak.
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