Memorandum of agreement eyed to protect Mt. Pulag

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Government agencies are moving to protect a sacred mountain.

The Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) is drafting a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) outlining measures to protect Mount Pulag.

DENR Regional Executive Director officer-in-charge Paquito Moreno and Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan jointly presided over the meeting of the Mount Pulag inter-agency task force comprised of representatives from government agencies and indigenous people’s organizations.

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Among the concerns is the ban on backhoes and bulldozers within the pine and mossy forest covers of Mount Pulag and Kabayan town.

Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan and Mount Pulag Protective Area Superintendent Emerita Albas said areas covered by Mount Pulag are being used for commercial vegetable farming.

Illegal logging activities and the unabated expansion of commercial vegetable farms are also rampant in the Pulag national park.

Mount Pulag borders Kayapa,Nueva Vizcaya and Tinoc, Ifugao but is 80 percent part of Kabayan.

The draft MOA will come after the completion of the surface delineation of Mount Pulag, which is one of the main headwaters of river tributaries in Northern Luzon.

In the past, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was asked to set up camp at the perimeter of the Mount Pulag reservation in a bid to thwart encroachment and illegal logging activities in the area.

Mount Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon at 2,924 meters, is a favorite trek for climbers who want to experience the sunrise at its highest point. It is also considered a sacred mountain and tagged as the playground of the gods.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 16, 2014.

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