Davao municipality sets cap to Mt. Apo trekkers

Subscribe Now April 12, 2014 at 07:58pm

The municipal government of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur said it would only allow a particular number of climbers to Mt. Apo using the Sta. Cruz trail.

Julius Paner, Sta. Cruz tourism officer, said limiting the number of climbers to 250 persons using the trail in the town was in consonance with an ordinance that aims to minimize environmental disturbance every climbing season.

Paner said the cap on the number of persons allowed to use the Sta. Cruz trail counts climbers, their guides, and porters.

“Trekkers planning to use the Sta. Cruz trail will have to fill up a form at the tourism office and pay the P500 registration fee per person. In addition, they would be required to get guides and porters before a climbing permit will be issued,” he said.

In Digos City, Edgardo Elera, the city tourism officer, said a monitoring and rescue team would be on standby during the Summer climb.

Digos also hosts the Kapatagan trail, one of the gateways to Mt. Apo.

Elera said locals using the Kapatagan trail will be charged P720, foreigners P1,080 and students, P432.

He advised climbers not to transact with dubious personalities to prevent a repeat of an incident two months ago, when 20 trekkers from Luzon were victimized by conmen.

Mt. Apo is home to about 272 bird species, including critically endangered ones such as the Philippine Eagle. It is among areas of the country with the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The country’s highest peak, as it has been known, always attracted mountaineers and scientists since the first attempts to scale it by non-Lumads (native ethnic group) – that of Jose Oyanguren in 1852 and Señor Real in 1870.

History books said the first successful climb to Mt. Apo was recorded in October 1880 by expedition was led by Don Joaquin Rajal, then the governor of Davao.

There are two climbing seasons to Mt Apo. Aside from the annual summer climb, mountaineers can also scale the 2,954-meter potentially-active stratovolcano that traverses Kidapawan, Makilala, and Magpet in North Cotabato; and Bansalan, Digos, and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur in October.

Source: inquirer.net

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