Wednesday May, 12 2021 04:54:28 PM

Almost 200 kilos of garbage collected by environmentalists from Mt. Apo

Climate Change/Environment • 23:30 PM Sun Mar 7, 2021
Caloy Bautista
Photos courtesy of Karl Jone Tanaid and King Bacamante.

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Almost 200 kilos of garbage, mostly bottles and plastic water bottles, were retrieved and brought down from Lake Venado and the peak of Mt. Apo in a recent clean-up climb at the country's highest peak.

The clean-up/climb conducted from Feb. 22 - 27 was initiated by the Department of Natural Resources North Cotabato provincial office and the Mt. Apo National Park Protected Area Management Board, with the support of the local tourism offices of Magpet town and Kidapawan City.

According to Karl Jone Tanaid, Magpet tourism officer, at least 132 volunteers from various government agencies, mountaineering groups and organizations joined the clean-up drive along with 28 porters and local guides.

They collected some 199 kilos of garbage, Tanaid said.

Aside from garbage, the group also removed vandals painted on large boulders at the peak. 

"There is something different written on the boulders with paint every year,” observed Kidapawan-based photographer King Bacamante, one of the volunteers.

Bacamante joined the yearly clean-up on invitation by DENR-North Cotabato.

Both Tanaid and Bacamante said most of the climb protocol violators passed through the Sta. Cruz, Digos and Bansalan trails in Davao Del Sur which has apparently remained open since 2020 and despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, a team led by the DENR Davao Region has observed in its trail and camp assessment along the Kapatagan trail to the peak from February 11 to 14 the non-observance of Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases guidelines on social distancing limiting the number of trekkers from 50 to 25 climbers per climb per day.

The team also noted the non-observance of proper waste disposal along the trails and campsites, as well as the vandals at the peak.

Porters, guides and climbers carry the garbage down for proper disposal. (CB)

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