Proposed ordinance declaring Mt. Apo as a geopark approved on second reading

The Davao City Council on Tuesday approved on second reading the proposed ordinance declaring Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) as a geopark.

In his privilege speech, Councilor Diosdado Angelo Mahipus Jr., co-chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, described MANP as a geological monument for the following reasons: rich geological history, biodiversity hotspot, cultural significance, scenic beauty, and geological education.

Mahipus’ proposal emanated from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 11 (DENR 11) through regional executive director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco, which is trying to vie for inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage list, UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGP).

Lemuel Lloyd Manalo, program coordinator and environment research officer of the Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), said that once recognized as a UNESCO site, it will promote the education and conservation efforts of MANP in the jurisdiction of Davao City.

Meanwhile, Barangay Captain Danilo A. Camarillo of Brgy. Tagurano, in Toril District, said that their barangay is within the Strict Protection Zone (SPZ) of MANP. He said that more or less 200 hikers/trekkers visited the area without any permit, and illegal occupants of 25 nipa hut houses already settled in the area.

However, Archelito Mallari, protected area superintendent (PASu) of MANP said this is allowed but only regulated.

It can be recalled that in July last year, Councilor Tek Ocampo, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, presented a resolution declaring Mt. Apo as a geopark including barangays Tungkalan, Sibulan, Tamayong, Manuel Guianga, Tagurano, Eden, Baracatan, Daliaon Plantation, and Catigan and its corresponding proposed ordinance.

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