The DENR XI through the Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco issued a directive through the Mt. Apo Natural Park-Protected Area Superintendent (MANP-PASu) Archelito L. Mallari PhD to probe on the existing establishments, resource and land users within Mount Apo Natural Park and its compliance to the pertinent laws stipulated in Republic Act 9237 or the Mount Apo Protected Area Act of 2003, and RA 7586 also known as the National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 1992 duly amended by RA 11038, the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 2018.
In support to said action, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Alberto N. Bandiola, DPA together with PASu Mallari on December 1, initiated a courtesy call to the City Mayor of Digos headed by Hon. Josef Cagas, to prop up the implementation of all regulations in MANP within the areas of Digos City, especially in Barangay Kapatagan.
For the same purpose, the team also headed to the Municipality of Bansalan, with the leadership of Hon. Edwin Reyes, who likewise assured that protection of the park and the judicious use of its resource shall be the drive of its stakeholders. The same commitment was earned from the Provincial Police Office of Davao del Sur led by Police Colonel Giusseppe A. Geralde.
On the same day, the office of the Protected Area Superintendent issued a show cause order to establishments operating within the natural park. Among the recipients are resort establishments, camping areas, commercial establishments, famous tourist destinations and among others which are mostly situated in Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City and Barangay Managa, Municipality of Bansalan.
A show cause order is a document that requires the recipient to legally justify their occupation and/or operation within the Protected Area and explain why disciplinary or penalties against them should not be levied. A cease-and-desist order of all operation shall follow should the recipients fail to justify such.
Reports of illegal trekking and camping activities within the strict protection zones of MANP, particularly in the Davao City side of the park; Brgy Tagurano, Eden, Catigan, Tungcalan, and Tamayong has also reached the office. Promptly, on the 3rd of December, the MANP team established a checkpoint in the said Barangay and have indeed observed the influx of hikers attempting to enter without any permit. Signages have been put up to prohibit further activities within the said Strict Protection Zone.
Mount Apo Natural Park is undeniably rich in biodiversity, possesses vast scenic landscape, and is ripe for ecotourism development and activities. However, all of its resources are duly protected by law and shall be firmly exercised that accede for its conservation, management, and protection. 𝑣𝑖𝑎 𝐷𝐸𝑁𝑅 𝑃𝐸𝑁𝑅𝑂 𝐷𝑎𝑣𝑎𝑜 𝑑𝑒𝑙 𝑆𝑢𝑟