SLU Helps Benguet Towns to Craft Environmental Ordinances for Mt. Pulag
Volume XVII NO. 50 October 3, 2014
BAGUIO CITY – – The Saint Louis University (SLU) has partnered with the local government units of of Kabayan and Bokod in Benguet in crafting ordinances regarding environmental fees for the proper utilization and protection of Mt. Pulag’s aesthetic value.
SLU School of Accountancy and Business Management Graduate Program Coordinator Gladys Navarro, in an interview, disclosed that SLU has started an environmental evaluation of Mt. Pulag way back 2005. Based on their study, most of the expenses of the tourists going to Mt. Pulag are spent outside of Kabayan and Bokod. The two LGUs are just getting paid for the entrance fees and on the local products they are selling.
SLU presented said study to the LGUs of Kabayan and Bokod, with focus on the need for payment of environmental services.
Mt. Pulag natural park coves 11,550 hectares with parts in Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya. In the Benguet side, it spans particularly Kabayan and Bokod. Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon, is a favorite adventure destination.
In an exploratory workshop on environmental ordinances conducted last September 24 at the El Cielito Inn here, the present case of Mt. Pulag and current wealth sharing and common pool resources initiatives of the two LGUs were tackled. They made an agreement on their respective tasks relative to administrative, marketing and governance of Mt. Pulag’s eco – tourism sites within the jurisdiction of the two towns.
For SLU, it will provide researches on the basis of host communities share on national wealth tax, government’s willingness to pay for the protection of natural resource and on how the Climate Change Commission can help in the protection of Mt. Pulag, among others. It will also help in conducting survey, provision of data and cost-benefit analysis on transport groups, travel groups/agencies, tourism facilities, among others.
For this undertaking, Bokod Mayor Faustino Aquisan and Kabayan Mayor Mauricio Macay and their respective Sangguniang Bayan members signed an agreement with SLU officials headed by Navarro.
The agreement was also signed by Benguet Vice Governor Nelson Dangwa and Sangguniang Panlalawigan members Jim Botiwey and Robert Namoro./JDP/CCD with Sharika Muñoz & Jemi Calinog-PIA/UB Interns