December 6, 2022

Mountain hiking destinations in Benguet are still closed as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19.

The Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Mt. Ugo in Itogon, and Mt. Purgatory in Bokod has yet to open to the public, but locals may have access to some portions of these mountains.

Bokod Mayor Thomas Wales Jr. said the local government allows residents to hike in the forest for physical fitness and for their mental health.

Bokod earlier opened the Badekbek sulfur spring to the public but closed it after some tourists indiscriminately left their garbage.

Mt. Pulag National Park remains closed since the imposition of the community quarantine last year. The mountain is only visited by monitoring teams of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine National Police. 

Barangay Tinongdan, which is the gateway to Mt. Ugo, posted in its Facebook account that the 2,150-meter above sea level destination is closed to hikers until further notice. 

The mountain was earlier opened to residents but it was again closed to the public due to the rising Covid-19 cases.

Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas earlier said the province is not yet open to tourists coming from other areas. 

Diclas said opening destinations to tourists coming from outside Benguet, would have to be discussed by the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force. – Ofelia C. Empian