The Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Davao Region (DENR-XI) will further intensify the environmental laws for hikers in Mt. Apo after finding some non-observant waste disposal and vandalism after the recently concluded assessment monitoring on February 11 to 14.
DENR-Davao Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel Evasco together with other selected officials and personnel from Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur joined to visit and assess the condition of the trail after finding that tourists flock during the long weekend.
In a statement posted on its official Facebook page, the official said trekkers seemed to ignore the existing policy. DENR-Davao wrote, “Trails and campsites were not just left with traces of footprints- so were empty bottles, face, masks, and all other kinds of trash.”
“Disappointingly, liquors and traces of drug substances were also observed in the area,” DENR-Davao added. It is also noted that vandalism was observed along its trails and non-observance of IATF guidelines for social distancing have been violated.
Hence, the DENR-Davao’s effort to protect the “King of Philippine Mountain” from exploitation has ordered all the stakeholders in Mt. Apo to cooperate and unite with the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) to strictly follow their guidelines.
Otherwise, fines will be concluded and closure of Mt. Apo might be possible these coming days to give way for the rehabilitation of the site if stakeholders and trekkers continue to violate the new guidelines.