AT LEAST P2.3-million worth of dwarf bamboos were burned when some parts of Mount Pulag was torched by hikers a few weeks ago.
Attorney IV Rainer Laita of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera said the computation did not comprise all of the 5.9-hectare, as only three hectares were occupied by the dwarf bamboos.
"The dwarf bamboo costs P50 per clump with an average of two clump per square meter burned, damaging 23,600 square meters amounting to P2,360,000," said Laita.
Laita said the computation was based on the implementing rules and regulations under department administrative order 2004-55 of the wildlife act and the Section 78 of Presidential Decree 705 in relation to the National Integrated Protected Areas System and the Presidential Decree 705.
Previously, an environmental case was mulled by the provincial deputy prosecutor while awaiting for the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office submission of the value of the damage.
Criminal charges have been filed in the Provincial Prosecutor's Office against seven mountaineers led by Ramon Kristomar Mackay, whose butane-fueled portable stove exploded for violations of provisions of the Republic Act 7586 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines.
Mount Pulag, dubbed as the "Playground of the Gods," is believed to be the final resting place of the departed among the Ibaloi folks, one of the tribal groups in the Cordillera. It is located 2,922 meters above sea level.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on February 15, 2018.
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