DENR DISMISSES CLAIMS OF CLIMBING BAN IN MT. APO
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DENR DISMISSES CLAIMS OF CLIMBING BAN IN MT. APODENR dismissed claims of blacklisting some mountaineering clubs from climbing Mt. Apo, the country's highest mountain after two years of rehabilitation. LEONILA RIVERA, chief of DENR's protected areas and wildlife division said almost all the mountaineering clubs have violated environment protection rules when they trekked the highest mountain before it was declared banned for mountain climbers. RIVERA said the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) has opened Mt. Apo for specific groups of climbers in July last year after the mountain was closed to mountaineers in July 2000 until July 2001. PAMB will only issue permits to climbers who will undertake tree-planting or clean-up activities at Mt. Apo especially at its peak. Permit will likewise be given to climbers who want to do some scientific or research studies. Since it was opened last year, eight (8) groups of climbers have already been permitted to visit Mt. Apo. Hence, he clarified that qualified climbers should secure the necessary requirements or clearances from the local government unit where they would jump-off. RIVERA also stressed that about 530 hectares of the mountain have been rehabilitated during the period that mountaineers were banned. The PAMB led the rehabilitation efforts with the help of some LGUs and private sector.
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