THE trails at Mt. Apo National Park (MANP) should not be cemented as it would hinder protective initiatives, according to Davao-based environmental group Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis).
Rather, Idis program coordinator Lemuel Manalo said on May 29 that other facilities or centers may be established, such as a natural museum to promote the flora and fauna biodiversity of MANP.
“Kung naa movement to enhance our protection of Mt. Apo, kailangan hardly developed ang Mt. Apo (There are movements to enhance the protection of Mt. Apo, thus it should be hardly developed), especially with introducing interventions like conventional concrete in these areas,” Manalo said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw media forum.
This is following the plan of the local government unit to cement the Hagdanan Paingon sa Mt. Apo trail of Mt. Apo on the side of Kidapawan City to prevent landslides.
Barangay captain and head of the Council of Elders of the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mt. Apo (MADADMA) Eduardo Umpan said they approved the Mandarang trail route not reaching Lake Venado.
However, Umpan said that there was no need to cement the path because the stones and boulders in the area can prevent landslides.
Manalo added that cementing the trail would have a lot of impacts.
“First the contour would be disrupted, the vegetation, and others. Natural ang trail so kailangan siya ingatan as is (The trail is natural so we should protect it as it is),” he said.
On the other hand, Idis supports the call to declare Mt. Apo as a geological monument as it would strengthen the protective initiatives on MANP and highlight its importance.
Currently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region (DENR-Davao) is campaigning to add MANP to the Unesco Global Geological Park (UGGP) list. They also urge the Davao City Council to declare Mt. Apo as a geological monument on the local government level. ICM