To seek support from the Davao City government on the establishment of Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) as a Geological Monument, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco had a meeting with Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte and Vice Mayor Melchor B. Quitain, Jr. on May 22, 2023.

In his privilege speech during the 19th Regular Session of the City Council of Davao last week, RED Evasco raised this said concern, hoping to garner support from the Davao City Council in the creation of a local ordinance declaring MANP as a Geological Monument.

“Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and is a natural wonder as it boasts a diverse range of geological features and is considered as treasure trove of scientific, educational, and cultural value,” RED Evasco emphasized.

The creation of a local ordinance is just part of the work plan for the bid of MANP to become a UNESCO Global Geological Park (UGGP). At present, the MANP Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) together with other stakeholders are already working on the necessary requirements for Mt. Apo to be declared as UNESCO-UGGP.

5 22 RED with Mayor 2With a total land area of 54,974.87 hectares, MANP is declared a Protected Area by virtue of Republic Act No. 9237 or the Mt. Apo Protected Area Act of 2003. It is also included in the UN List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves and is also acknowledge as an ASEAN Heritage Site.

RED Evasco stands up for MANP to be declared as a geological monument due to its rich geological history as the said mountain is a stratovolcano that has been formed over millions of years due to volcanic activity.

“This activity resulted to a diverse range of geological formations such as lava domes, pyroclastic deposits, and volcanic rocks,” he said.

MANP is also considered as a Biodiversity Hotspot and a valuable area for scientific research and education, as the mountain is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world. Its scenic beauty is also immensely popular as the mountain offers breathtaking views and natural landscapes attracting tourists, hikers, climbers and campers from all over the world.

Adding to its panoramic beauty is the remarkable and rich historical and cultural values as the mountain is also an abode to several groups of Indigenous People (IP) dominated by the Manobos, Bagobo Tagabawa, B’laan Tribes and Bagobo Klata Tribes. MANP is considered a sacred mountain as it is used for traditional rituals and ceremonies as it is believed to be the burial ground of the tribes’ great forefather named Apo Sandawa.

RED Evasco further said that with the declaration of MANP as a geological monument, it would provide a valuable educational resource for geologists, students, and the public for it would offer a unique opportunity to learn about the mountain’s geological history, the processes that formed it and the valuable resources it holds.

Should Mt. Apo be declared as a UNESCO Global Geological Park, the ten barangays that will be included are Tungkalan; Sibulan;Tamayong; Manuel Guianga; Tagurano; Eden; Baracatan; Daliaon; Plantation and Catigan.