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Monday, July 15, 2024

Bohol not alone: Structures built around Mount Apo too, says Tulfo

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Senator Raffy Tulfo on Monday raised concern over the structures built in the vicinity of Mount Apo, the country’s highest mountain, since President Marcos ordered last year its preservation as it vied for its inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of World Heritage Sites.

After discussing the construction of several structures in the vicinity of Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Tulfo said he got a call from a mountaineering group.

In his privilege speech, Tulfo said he was informed that just like Chocolate Hills, Mount Apo—also a protected area as declared by law—was not spared by illegal structures.

Tulfo noted there were several structures, including resorts in the Mt. Apo National Reserve in Digos side, identifying them as the Twin Mountain View Resort, MonteFrio Resort, and Villa Recurso.

“These are outside the buffer zone if we will base them on what we saw on Google Earth and comparing it with the map of Mount Apo. (But) when it comes to the environment and our natural resources, we have to remember that we cannot turn back time. If it happened, it already happened. It’s difficult to restore what was destroyed in our nature,” he said.

“Where am I coming from? Last week, we were all shocked to see photos and videos of a resort in the middle of the Chocolate Hills Nature Park in Bohol. Captain’s Peak Resort had multiple pools, villas, and slides embedded on the hill. If you’ve been to Bohol and have seen the untouched beauty of the Chocolate Hills, you will really be mad,” he said.

The senator questioned how these illegal structures were built. He said the DENR PAMB (Protected Area Management Bureau) of Mount Apo was mandated to protect the area and that this should also be investigated.

Ano ba talaga silbi ng (What is really the use of) PAMB? Bakit parang display lang sila sa mga protected areas natin (Why does it seem like they are just for display in our protected areas)?” he said.

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