BAGUIO CITY: Mt. Pulag in Benguet, the country’s second highest peak next to Mt. Apo, was shut down from mountain trekkers since Thursday as bad weather affected the region posing danger to mountaineers.
The Office of Civil Defense in the Cordillera said heavy rains and strong winds forced the park management to temporarily close the favorite trekking mecca.
Trekkers planning to Mt. Pulag are being advised not to proceed to the over 2,900 feet above sea level mountain climbing spot in Kabayan.
Mt. Pulag Protected Area Supt. Emerita Albas, in an advisory on Thursday, said the peak and camps 1, 2 and 3 were closed owing it to the bad weather rendering zero visibility.
The strong winds could blow camping tents and posed danger to mountaineers and the park workers.
Albas, meanwhile, also acknowledged plans to partially close down the mountain from trekkers to protect it from further degradation.
Mt. Pulag has been closed on weekends when influx of mountain climbers was observed.
Albas, however, said they still have to observe the mitigating measures already instituted by the park management while taking into consideration permanent closure to local livelihood.
“We have to ask the opinion the indigenous people’s communities on Mt. Pulag’s partial closure,” Albas said.
At least 150 guides are benefitting from Mt. Pulag being a trekking mecca in Luzon.
There are also the transport groups and the homestay program beneficiaries who stand to be affected when a partial closure will be put in place.
Considered as a sacred ground of the indigenous Ibalois of Benguet, Mt. Pulag is a favorite trekking mecca because of the breathtaking view of the sunrise amid a sea of clouds on its peak.