Benguet Rep to police: Nab destroyers of Mount Pulag

>> Tuesday, December 24, 2013

KABAYAN, Benguet  — The Department of Public Works and Highways will construct a P124 million-road network leading to Mount Pulag here, Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan said last week even as he asked regional police officials to identify, arrest and prosecute those responsible for the destruction of a wide portion of the mountain.   

Mount Pulag is a national park and one of the most popular eco-tourism sites in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The mountain is some 300 km north of Manila. It stands majestically at some 3,000 feet above sea level with a base of some 100 sq. km. It is the second tallest mountain in the country and serves as the widest watershed in northern Luzon.

The congressman, however, said the priority concern of the government is to stop the further denudation of the mountain by unidentified tract farmers who even use backhoe and other heavy equipment to convert a wide forested area into vegetable farms.

Records show that in the recent courtesy call of Police Chief Supt. Isagani Nerez, newly–installed regional director of the Police Regional Office Cordillera , Cosalan asked the police officer to lead the arrest of those responsible for destruction of the mountain.

Cosalan said he also asked Provincial Prosecutor William Bacoling to work with the authorities for the prosecution of whoever led in the wanton denudation of the mountain.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) executive regional director Clarence Baguilat was also tasked to coordinate the rehabilitation of the destroyed portions of the mountain, which since the late 1970’s was popular to local and foreign mountain climbers due to its almost freezing temperatures at its peak, aside from affording a rare view of three of its mountain lakes and unique wild games such as clouded rat.

Cosalan had already met with Mayor Mauricio Makay of Bokod, Benguet and Mayor Faustino Aquisan of Kabayan, Benguet. The two have jurisdictions on Mount Pulag.

”While we work for these roads towards the mountain, we have to see to it that the vast economic potentials in terms of watersheds as well as the eco-tourism endowments of Mount Pulag must be preserved, even if it means that we have to prosecute any person or persons who already caused substantial damage to the surroundings,” he said.


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