MT. PULAG National Park collected P4,186,433 from 20,820 local and foreign visitors during the first and second quarters of 2017.
The collection for the first semester nearly surpassed the P4,734,096 collection last year from the 28,751 local and foreign visitors recorded, data from the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PamBCS) of the Mt. Pulag National Park and Protected Area Office.
The collection covers entrance fees, rental/camping fees and administrative cost under Republic Act 10629 entitled An Act providing for the retention by the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of seventy five percent of the revenues accruing to the Integrated Protected Areas Fund (IPAF) under the Protected Area Retained Income Account (PARA).
Under the law, 75 percent of the collection will redound to the benefit of the protected area and the other 25 percent will be remitted to the central IPAF.
Former Mt. Pulag Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Emerita Albas explained the collection is fully accounted. “The board will approve all expenses to be spent in the protected area.”
The PASu emphasized collections are being used “lawfully for the operational expenses and maintenance in Mt. Pulag National Park Office and the protected area including the wages and salaries of the contractual employees.”
The park management hired sixteen contractual field workers on site for its maintenance and protection.
Albas reminded PASu personnel to preserve the protected area by orienting the visitors on environmental protection. Visitors are also warned not to collect any forest product within the park which may imbalance the ecology which is a violation under Presidential Decree 705, as amended.
Teber Dionisio replaced Albas while Mt. Pulag falls under the administrative jurisdiction of the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) Baguio headed by Rainier Balbuena.
Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon at 2,926.034 meters or 9,600 feet above sea level. It is the third highest mountain in the Philippines, next to Mt. Apo and Mt. Dulang-dulang.
The park is famous for its “sea of clouds” and the view of the Milky Way Galaxy at dawn, which has attracted many tourists who wish to see its beautiful scenery. (PR)