March 24, 2023

All tour organizers bringing in tourists to Mt. Pulag are required to get business permits from Kabayan, Benguet to ward off unscrupulous organizers bringing tourists to the highest peak in Luzon.
Mt. Pulag National Park Protected Area Superintendent Emerita Albas said the Protected Area Management Board and Kabayan discussed the requirement for business permit as a way to regulate the volume of crowd entering the national park. 
Albas said the maximum capacity of the national park is 500 hikers a day, but the number goes higher due to the failure of some organizers to coordinate with management and bringing in more guests than what was initially coordinated.
In some instances, even those from the transport groups and tour guides act as tour organizers.
“It’s like everyone who comes here, they wanted to organize a tour, so it caused a multiplier effect. But we cannot allow everyone to organize a climb,” Albas said.  
In a social media post, Kabayan has advised tour organizers including residents and non-residents conducting business within the municipality are required to present cedula and police clearance, both from their place of origin, and permit from the Department of Trade and Industry in order to be issued with the business permit from the municipal government.
Albas has advised hikers to reserve on weekdays when there are fewer guests. The weekends of February and March are already fully-booked but individuals may still contact management in case of cancelled bookings.
Personal appearance is needed when booking a hike for the weekend or holiday dates.
Entrance fees for the weekday hike are P175 at the DENR visitor’s office and P180 for Kabayan while weekend entrance fee is P350 for both offices.
The tourist arrival in Mt. Pulag from January to December 2022 totaled to 19,589 and bulk of the tourists who scaled the highest peak in Luzon was recorded during the second semester of 2022. 
Hikers were told to bring warm clothes and other camping materials and food needed to keep warm especially at the camp site and at the summit.
For more information, visit the Facebook accounts “Mt. Pulag Protected Landscape-Bulletin” for reservation of slots and the “Kabayan LGU-Mayor’s Office” for the business permit of tour organizers. – Ofelia C. Empian