The Kidapawan City government is studying the possibility of closing temporarily Mt. Apo’s trails due to the impending effect of the El Niño phenomenon.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) said the plan to suspend climbing of trekkers came following the hot weather condition being felt in the city and its near environs the past several weeks.
“The drought-spawned El Niño weather condition has also started to become unfavorable to the forests of Mt. Apo,” Mayor Joseph Evangelista said Monday.
Evangelista said the move to shut down the trails to Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak at 9,692 feet above sea level, aims to protect the forest from careless climbers that may trigger grass fires and other forms of destruction during the dry season.
As of this posting, Mt. Apo is still open to climbers, with some
climbers scheduled to visit the peak in the upcoming Holy Week.
Evangelista is scheduled to meet with the officials of the Protected Areas Management Board on Tuesday (March 5) to study the proposal.
In 2016, a fire hit the summit of Mt. Apo on the northeastern side that lasted for weeks and destroyed some 100 hectares of forest cover.(PNA)