BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Illegal logging activities in the country’s third-highest peak are at their worst, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and government executives in Benguet.
DENR officials said illegal cutting of trees continued to haunt Mount Pulag, which was declared a protected national park under Proclamation 75 in 1987 and as a cultural treasure under Presidential Decree 374.
Mount Pulag’s highest peak is 2,924 meters above sea level and spans three provinces: Nueva Vizcaya in the south, Ifugao in the east and Benguet in the west where its summit stands in Kabayan town.
It was Rep. Ronald Cosalan of Benguet who revealed the continued “rape” by illegal loggers at a special meeting with Benguet DENR Director Clarence Baguilat and Department of Public Works and Highways Director Edilberto Carabbacan.
“Illegal logging activities are getting worse in Mount Pulag area, especially at the Tawangan-Lusod side,” the government executives said.
Cosalan said that besides timber poaching, the conversion of its area to agricultural land is also threatening Mount Pulag. “Over the years, encroachers have even used heavy equipment in their farming activities as well as hunting.”
Playing host to large diversity of flora and fauna species, Mount Pulag is also known for its centuries-old mummies and series of crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls as well as for its lush green foliage that attract thousands of tourists and mountain climbers.
Meanwhile, the DPWH has belied reports that the continuing “rape” of Mount Pulag has something to do with the construction and improvement of roads leading to the area.