LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – More restrictions are set to be implemented in order to protect and conserve the Mount Pulag National Park’s natural habitat and its vegetation.
Mount Pulag National Park Superintendent Emerita Albas in a kapihan forum said that there is a need to decongest people coming to the national park especially tourists who are flocking the ‘sacred mountain’ during weekends to experience its mystic beauty.
Albas said there is an increase of tourists visiting the camp so they are planning to limit the number of tourists and the number of days to be allowed to go to the park.
“At the moment, we do not allow camping from Fridays to Sundays at the park,” Albas said and explained that instead of Mount Pulag, the tourists are encouraged or diverted to visit other areas such as the mystical lakes of Kabayan and the Mount Purgatory in Bokod. Tourists are allowed to camp at the other tourist sites.
She said that recently several tourists mostly those who are walk-ins or have no reservation were not allowed to climb Mount Pulag during the weekends due to the overcrowding at the camp sites and the summit.
Last February 8, Albas said that they have started marking the hands of the mountain trekkers who comply reservations with indelible ink to know who are the right persons to be accommodated in the park.
Albas said that they are looking to close the park during weekends by next year. “We will no longer allow camping activities during the weekends where tourists coming from all over the country gather and overcrowd the area,” she said.
She also added that by next year they will encourage organizers to have only ten participants per team to decongest the National Park. Climb organizers have been accommodating more and more climbers and this will be regulated as well.
The ideal capacity of Mt. Pulag is 200 but according to Mt. Pulag Park Management they allow 300 to 400 guests.
Albas explained that although they wanted to close all activities of the Mount Pulag, this could not be done since lives of people will be affected especially the locals./JDP/RMC-Jonah Balicao, John Pucay, Zhang Yu- PIA-CAR Interns