Six local government units surrounding Mount Apo have recently approved a ‘common trekking policy’ to help preserve the beauty of one of the best trekking destinations in Mindanao.
After a recent clean up of Mount Apo, it was once again discovered that hikers and trekkers have left tons of garbage behind.
Under the new law, trekkers will be required to fill up a “Zero Basura” or zero waste form as an inventory of solid wastes brought by those who wish to climb the tallest peak in the Philippines.
People caught littering face a 2,000 pesos fine and could be blacklisted from ever returning. Serious offenders could even find themselves in court.
The new agreement also will also blacklist trekkers for the following reasons:
- Destruction and/or possession of flora and fauna without a permit
- Swimming in Lake Venado
- Direct use of shampoo – soap or detergents in water sources within the park
- Causing trouble and loud noises
- Climbing without a permit
- Climbing with unaccredited porters or guides
A new common trekking fee has also been issued for the park. Before, students paid 500 pesos while foreigners paid 1,500 pesos – now only two rates will be charged for everyone.
Trekkers will be charged 1,500 pesos during peak season (usually during the months of April to June) and 1,000 pesos for regular seasons.
The new policy comes after several tons of garbage was collected by Mt. Apo community members in 2014 alone – that consists of only 4,000 registered trekkers that year.
So far this year, one ton of garbage has been collected from the dormant volcano, prompting the community to say “enough is enough.”
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