DAVAO City Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr. expressed his support for the possibility of declaring Mt. Apo National Park (MANP) as a geological monument to highlight the importance of its conservation.
This is in line with the call of regional director Bagani Evasco of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Davao Region (DENR-Davao) to create a local ordinance declaring MANP as a geological monument.
“For me, it’s about time to be declared,” Quitain told SunStar Davao on Friday. “We should take care of mother nature and preserve areas such as Mt. Apo for the next generation of Dabawenyos.”
On May 22, DENR-Davao announced they met with Quitain and Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte to garner support from the local government but Quitain said further details are yet to be discussed.
The vice mayor said the matter will be handled by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Davao City Council led by Councilor Tek Ocampo as committee chair.
Evasco said the declaration of Mt. Apo as a geological monument would “provide a valuable educational resource for geologists, students, and the public for it would offer a unique opportunity to learn about the mountain’s geological history.”
In his privilege speech last week, Evasco also emphasized that the local declaration would help with DENR-Davao’s campaign to bid MANP as a Unesco Global Geological Park, covering the areas of Barangays Tungkalan, Sibulan, Tamayong, Manuel Guianga, Tagurano, Eden, Baracatan, Daliaon, Plantation, and Catigan.
Once MANP is listed as a Unesco Geopark, it would recognize Mt. Apo as an important geological heritage site.
On the other hand, MANP is already recognized as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heritage Site and is included in the UN List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves.
It is also a protected area under Republic Act No. 9237 or the Mt. Apo Protected Area Act of 2003. ICM