TREKKERS can again add Mount Kanlaon to their hiking list.
Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, head of Special Concerns of the Negros Occidental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, confirmed Tuesday that as of July 1, Mount Kanlaon is again open for trekking.
He said the trails were closed for three years after Mount Kanlaon was placed under Alert Level 1, which means it is in an abnormal condition and in the period of current unrest.
Last May 5, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has lowered the alert status of Mount Kanlaon from Alert Level 1 to 0, or no alert or normal status.
Mount Kanlaon, an active volcano, straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. It is the highest point in Visayas at 2,465 meters (8,087 feet) above sea level.
Mount Kanlaon can be accessed through Mapot and Manawin trails in Canlaon City in Negros Oriental while entry points in Negros Occidental are the Guintubdan trail in La Carlota City and Wasay trail in Murcia town.
Gerangaya said the declaration to open the trails on July 1 came after Protected Area Superintendent Concordio Remoroza of Mount Kanlaon Natural Park conducted trail assessment and clearing operations of the four entry points.
He added that those who are interested to climb the summit can now book at the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Bago City or at the Canlaon City Hall.
Forester Rally Cagayanan said that climbing rates for foreign trekkers is pegged at P1,000 while local climbers pay P500.
He said they received many “applications” for trekking following the opening of the trails, however, they will limit the climb to only 10 trekkers per trail.
Overnight at the designated campsites will be allowed.
Cagayanan said that by September, they will conduct a re-assessment to determine the impact of the re-opening of the trails.
During the trail assessment last month, he said they found many garbage mostly water bottles near the summit.
He added that trekkers will be required “to bring their trash when going down (from the summit).”
Meanwhile, Gerangaya said the “Halad sa Kanlaon” Festival is slated on August 11 at Guintubdan, La Carlota City.
He said the festival will be participated by cities and municipalities that have an area in Mount Kanlaon.
He said they have met with Governors Alfredo Marañon Jr. of Negros Occidental and Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental to solicit their support and participation as Mount Kanlaon is a significant landmark in Negros Island Region.