CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – Mount Pico de Loro in the boundary of Cavite and Batangas reopened to the public after a six-year rehabilitation on Thursday, Jan. 12.
Pico de Loro was declared off-limits in October 2016 due to the presence of voluminous solid wastes, uncontrolled vendors on the trail, campsite, and summit, an unregulated number of hikers, soil erosion, and overall degradation.
The moratorium enabled the clean-up, rehabilitation, and improvement of Pico de Loro.
Stalls were constructed at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Park Station where the jump-off point is located to serve as the location for vendors of food and souvenir items.
Concrete stairs and steps were constructed on the eroded portions of Pico de Loro to avoid further soil erosion and mountain degradation.
Mandatory online registration was implemented to regulate the number of hikers, the DENR-Region 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon area), said.
The DENR-Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) held a soft opening of Pico de Loro from Dec. 21 to 22 to test the online reservation process using the newly developed website.
Payment remains on the website while awaiting
the approval of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Landbank for ease of transaction. The dry-run tested the readiness of PAMO personnel and tour guides in accommodating hikers.
Thirty-eight hikers visited the park on the first day of the trial run while the number of visitors increased to 105 on the second day.
The newly-reopened Pico de Loro received positive comments and feedback from hikers. They commended the DENR, PAMO, and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for a job well done.
Pico de Loro, located within the Mountains Palay-Palay/Mataas-na-Gulod Protected Landscape (MPPMNGPL), is open from Wednesdays to Saturdays with a maximum of 90 hikers per day and will only accommodate those who reserved or booked online.