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Climbers presenting fake IDs to enter protected area in Bukidnon

A steel ladder near the peak of Mt. Kitanglad. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews) – Some individuals used fake identification documents to gain entry to ecotourism sites in Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, which has been closed to non-residents of Bukidnon as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources provincial office said.

Daniel Somera, Protected Area Superintendent of Mt. Kitanglad, on Thursday said two of the climbers came from Iligan City but showed IDs purportedly issued by a company based in Valencia City when they applied for a permit to climb Mt. Dulang-Dulang, a popular destination in the park.

Somera said he inquired if the two climbers were really employed in the company.

But he said the company denied the two were its employees, saying the ID numbers were not even registered in its database.

Somera said he will ask the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) to summon the “violators” so they can explain their side before deciding whether sanctions should be imposed.

On May 20 this year, the PAMB passed a resolution limiting entry to Mt. Kitanglad to Bukidnon residents in light of the pandemic.

Somera also said that the peak of Mt. Kitanglad has been closed anew due to the decrepit condition of facilities and infrastructures that could endanger the climbers.

He said the steel ladders, water system and cabin, among others, need repair.

Impasugong town, the popular entry point to the peak, announced last month its reopening along with other local ecotourism sites.

Mt. Kitanglad Range was named in 2010 as an ASEAN Heritage Park for its rich flora and fauna and cultural significance. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)

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