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Trekkers Climb Mt. Apo Over The Long Weekend | Campsites & Trails Assessment | Mount Apo Natural Park, Philippines

Climbing Mt. Apo Natural Park View at the Peak


Mt. Apo, the Philippines' highest peak has gained a number of visitors, to have a breath of mountain air over the country’s long weekend (February 12-14, 2021). 



Mt. Apo Natural Park Trail Map
Mt. Apo Trail Map

Trekkers were not bothered by the rainfalls and strenuous trails as they seemed to enjoy its mysterious interiors and all the bounty of its natural wonders. And though it’s farther, harder, and taller than it looks, everyone aims to summit the famous mountain. 


Also read: [Majestic Mt. Apo - King of Philippine Mountains (Mindanao Featured Hiking & Ecotourism Destination)]


DENR inspecting Mt. Apo campsites and trails
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) monitoring and assessment team at Mt. Apo.

DENR Team climbing Mt. Apo to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain
DENR Team climbing Mt. Apo to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain

DENR Team climbing Mt. Apo to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain
DENR Team climbing Mt. Apo to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain


Despite the holiday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) monitoring and assessment team also navigated Mt. Apo. Led by a mountaineer himself, Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel Evasco, along with some officials and protected area conservationists, the team went on to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain. 



Mt. Apo Trail Markers - Baruring River, Camp Gudi-Gudi, Mt. Apo Peak
Mt. Apo Trail Markers - Baruring River, Camp Gudi-Gudi, Mt. Apo Peak  | (DENR-XI) monitoring and assessment team
Giant trees along Mt. Apo trails - foggy forest and gigantic tropical tree
Gigantic Tree along Mt. Apo trails


The goal is to assess the trail conditions and campsite situation in order to determine and strengthen preservation and conservation mechanisms for Mt. Apo, which was hailed as an ASEAN Heritage Site in 2011. 



Mt. Apo Trails - DENR-XI Trail monitoring and assessment team
DENR-XI Monitoring and Assessment Team at Mt. Apo Trail Marker - Junction | 

Hiking Mt. Apo - lush vegetation along Mount Apo trails
Mt. Apo lush vegetation

Mt. Apo - Camp Gudi-Gudi marker
Mt. Apo - Camp Gudi-Gudi marker

In fact, for a more convenient trekking experience, putting up facilities has been considered. Observations during the activity also led to pushing for stricter trekking rules because trekkers seemed to ignore the existing policies. 



Mt. Apo - DENR-XI Monitoring and Assessment Team - Making assessment of Mt. Apo trails and campsites
Trails and campsites were not just left with traces of footprints- so were empty soda and water bottles, face masks, and all other kinds of trash.
DENR-XI Monitoring and Assessment Team - Making assessment of Mt. Apo trails and campsites 

Mt. Apo climbing and hiking - hikers at Mount Apo trails
Campsite vandalism at Mt. Apo 
DENR Team climbing Mt. Apo to personally observe and assess the condition of the mountain


Trails and campsites were not just left with traces of footprints- so were empty soda and water bottles, face masks, and all other kinds of trash. Disappointingly, liquors and traces of drug substances were also observed in the area. 


Related News: Stricter trekking rules pushed in Mt. Apo


Boulders in Mt. Apo engraved with vandalism
Boulders in Mt. Apo engraved with vandalism


Boulders were not just imprinted with footsteps and handgrips- it’s also engraved with vandalism. 



Climbing Mt. Apo Philippines Hikers at sea of clouds
Sea of clouds at Mt. Apo


Being an established protected area and by virtue of Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 and Republic Act 9237, Mt. Apo is under the management and regulation of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). The Board is composed of members and shall have the DENR’s Regional Executive Director as chairman and advisor particularly on technical aspects.



Trekkers Hikers Climbing Mt. Apo
Mt. Apo trails

 

With that, DENR-XI is urging the trekkers to be responsible and follow the guidelines and policies set by the PAMB. Otherwise, repercussions will not only entail fines and punishments but also damage to nature. For sure that by now, we have realized that nature’s revenge can be “unforgiving.” 



Hiking climbing Mt. Apo - Lonely mountaineer at Mt. Apo
Mt. Apo foggy trails 

Mt. Apo hikers resting at the boulders with headlamp
Take 5!


Again, DENR Davao is strongly reminding the public to trek responsibly and to respect all the species inside Mt. Apo. It is all our duty to protect the “King of Philippine Mountains” from exploitation as it is also a royalty when it comes to mitigating the threats of climate change.


Source: DENR Davao


NOTICE TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS

DENR XI - Mount Apo TRAIL AND CAMP ASSESSMENT REPORT 

(02 / 11-14 / 2021)


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – XI thru the leadership of Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco together with selected Officials and personnel from Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur recently conducted a trail and camp assessment last February 11 – 14, 2021 passing Sitio Paradise Digos trail to Camp Gudi-Gudi then to the summit.  The DENR team had observed the following, viz;


1. Non-observance of IATF guidelines in terms of social distancing limiting the number of trekkers from 50 (regular capacity) to 25 climbers per climb per day which is a 50% reduction of trekkers in compliance to SUB-PAMB Resolution No.27, Series of 2020 and IATF Omnibus Guidelines.


2. Non-observance of proper waste disposal along the trails and campsites, sanitation and health protocols.


3. Vandalism were observed along trails, campsites, engraved in the boulders, peak and even at the crater.


4. Unregulated noise along the trails and camps disturbs the wildlife and disrupts the serenity of the trekking experience. 


5. Presence of alarming cultivation beyond the Strict Protection Zone.


6. Possible use of prohibited substances due to presence of Marijuana found at the 87degree trail going to the crater and peak. 


RED Evasco has ordered anew its Officials to further intensify the enforcement of environmental laws.  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.  

 

We assure the public that the DENR, under the leadership of the current administration urged all stakeholders in Mt. Apo Natural Park to cooperate collaboratively and unite for the betterment of our Nation’s Highest Peak and ASEAN Heritage Site.


Information Source: DENR Davao Official Facebook Page 

Posted: 18 February 2021

Retrieved: 18 February 2021


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Related Advisory and Climbing Updates:

Posted by DENR Davao - February 10, 2021


Mt. Apo activities resume, PAMB intensifies rules and conservation guidelines


The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), chaired by the current DENR XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco held a dialogue with key stakeholders to discuss updates, new policies and intensified conservation initiatives for Mt. Apo Natural Park. 


The DENR, together with the Local Government Unit of Bansalan, represented by Mayor Quirina Sarte, as well as the barangay council of Kapatagan, tourism officers and other stakeholders tackled several agenda which include updates on the Unified Trekking and Camping policy considering the current pandemic, intensifying Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign for the protection and conservation of Mt. Apo, reinforcement of law under RA 9237 (READ: https://bit.ly/3tGO6hv) as well as harmonization of all stakeholders.


Among the board’s said conservation efforts is the establishment of 500-hectare bamboo plantation through the DENR’s Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) which will be implemented within the year’s 2nd quarter. 


Meanwhile, some Mt. Apo trails particularly Digos and Sta. Cruz has recently resume its climbing and trekking activities. 


Along with the resumption is the imposition of new policies which conform with the IATF’s guidelines and other health protocols. Among the new policy is the exclusivity to Davao Region climbers, limiting the number of climbers or trekkers from 50 to 25 per day, submission of medical certificates, conduct of temperature check and other health protocols.


The board also announces that the Protected Area Management Office of Mt. Apo Natural Park, located at So. Baras, Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur is now open to provide public service. 


For inquiries and services regarding Mt. Apo, the management can be reached through the hotline number 0967-887-5040 or email them at mtaponaturalpark@gmail.com


RED Bagani Fidel Evasco, on the other hand, firmly gives directive to the board members to strictly impose the environmental laws, even if it takes calling out or facing off the “big investors”.


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News Update as of 24 February 2021

𝗠𝗧. 𝗔𝗣𝗒’𝗦 π—–π—Ÿπ—’π—¦π—¨π—₯π—˜ π——π—˜π—™π—˜π—₯π—₯π—˜π——

The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) adopted the deferment of the agendum for the closure of Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) during its emergency EnBanc meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. That, after 25 of the members, both in Region 11 and 12, voted in favor of the motion to defer while 8 were against.

The DENR-XI through its Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco, in concurrent capacity as Chairman of the PAMB, has previously made a pronouncement of temporarily closing the MANP due to the unappealing findings from the team’s recent conduct of trail and camp assessment. 

Following the activity, multiple observations were publicly released such as trekkers’ non-observance of the IATF guidelines on health protocols, occurrence of littering and vandalism, traces of drug substances and alarming soil cultivation within its Strict Protection Zone or SPZ. The director then pushed for its immediate rehabilitation by having it temporarily closed.

Despite the plan being deferred, the DENR is firm in pursuing its strategic plans to improve the condition of Mt. Apo. In fact, steps are already crafted to intensify information drive, accelerate the rehabilitation and improve the management of MANP trails and camping facilities. 

The DENR is also up for the retooling of trekking mechanisms and policies, for setting up of standard facilities (i.e. comfort rooms) as well as wayfinding signages and for intensifying patrolling activities. 

“We aim for the improvement of condition and sustainability of Mt. Apo. We must do what it takes to safeguard the country’s highest peak- to protect it as a key biodiversity area and one of our immense natural resources.”, RED Bagani expressed before the attendees. 

Meanwhile, despite the PAMB members and key stakeholders' deferment for MANP's closure, they still conveyed their full support to the DENR’s rehabilitation plans. 


Retrieved: 03 March 2021


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RELATED VIDEO:

Majestic Mt. Apo - King of Philippine Mountains [Mindanao Featured Hiking & Ecotourism Destination]






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