DAVAO CITY, Philippines—City Mayor Sara Duterte on Tuesday warned mountaineers and tour operators that they will face sanctions if Mt. Talomo wil be used as one entry points in going to Mt. Apo.
The Presidential daughter’s issued the statement amid reports that both that mountaineers and tour operators are entering Mt. Apo through Mt. Talomo despite its exclusion from the list of entry points to the country’s highest mountain.
“These illegal activities must be stopped and the Davao City Government strongly reminds the public of the possible sanctions to be meted out to violators,” Duterte as quoted saying in a City Information Office dispatch.
She said that the city government of Davao wants to protect Mt. Talomo because of its “ecological value” and since the mountain is one of the city’s watershed areas as well as home to the endangered Philippine Eagle.
A comprehensive eco-tourism and cultural plan will be rolled out soon that would cover regulations to ensure that the watershed area is protected from human activities perceived to be injurious and destructive to the environment.
“This plan is being undertaken by the City Government of Davao, the Department of Tourism XI, and the Philippine Eagle Foundation, in partnership with the Bagobo community in the area,” Duterte said.
“We encourage tour operators, tourists, and mountaineers to join us in the promotion of environmental protection and become active partners in ensuring that the next generations will still experience healthy, safe, and sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem,” the local chief executive said.
On March 23 last year, the Protection and Management Board issued a resolution for the re-opening of Mt. Apo to the public. The same resolution also identified three major entry points for mountaineers and tour operators in going to Mt. Apo, namely: Kidapawan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, and Tamayong, Davao City.
A Davao-based environmental group, however, expressed its opposition to re-open Mt. Apo to the public.
Chinkie Peliño-Golle, acting executive director of Interface Development Interventions, said that Mt. Apo needs more years to complete its rehabilitation. (davaotoday.com)