Environment office seeks public help for Mt. Pulag-A A +A
Saturday, August 11, 2012
THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) revealed the fast degradation of the highest mountain in Luzon prompting the agency to appeal to the public to help preserve Mt. Pulag.
DENR Protected Area Superintendent of Mt. Pulag, Emerita Albas, presented various illegal human activities happening in the park to the Provincial Board during its regular session last Monday. This is to stir officials to coordinate with concerned parties to create measures to stop these environmental abuses.
Albas also revealed the presence of illegal settlers in the area. She added these residents allegedly do extensive and indiscriminate farming and gardening within the national park.
Moreover, the superintendent said that mining has been introduced in the area. She enumerated residents are allegedly involved in illegal logging and use chemicals in farming thus greatly affecting the environment.
She said if these activities will continue, the flora and fauna in the area will be compromised and water will diminish. Mt. Pulag will not exist anymore if these activities will not be controlled.
Albas presented the different rare biological lives which the mountain has. “The Mt Pulag National Park (MPNP) is a significant cultural, natural, and biological resource for the Philippines and the world. Its prominence as having the highest mountain summits of Luzon Island equally requires the highest attention in protected area management from all stakeholders.”
She added, “Mt. Pulag is the Center of Plant Diversity in the Philippine areas which is rich in plant species, large number of endemic species and diverse range of habitat.”
Wild flowers like Rhododendron subsessile Rendle and Hypericumpulogense Merr are present in the park. These are rare species of plants endemic to the mountain.
The mountain is also declared by the Birdlife International as the priority important bird area because it houses several unusual birds which are endemic in the country and even in the world. Among these birds are Koch’s pitta (“kongkong”), Luzon Water Redstart (“kingking”), and Luzon Green Mountain Racquet tail.
Mt. Pulag is a nationally significant watershed which provides water for the domestic and irrigation needs of northern and central Luzon. It also contributes water to the four hydroelectric power plants in northern Luzon namely San Roque Multi – purpose Dam; Binga Hydroelectric Dam; Ambuclao Dam; and Magat Dam.
Albas said if the environmental violations will not be stopped, it will affect the volume of water which goes to these dams. This will lead to the scarcity of water in Northern Luzon and other towns near the region.
She calls on the public to contribute to the conservation of the national park.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 11, 2012.