DENR issues reminder that Mt. Sto Tomas still closed to tourism, other activities

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THE MOUNT Sto. Tomas Forest Reserve in Tuba, Benguet remains closed to all activities, including tourism and anthropological pursuits, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reminded the public. In a notice released on March 12, DENR-Cordillera Administrative Region Director Ralph C. Pablo reiterated that Mt Sto. Tomas is still under the restrictions of a Writ of Kalikasan, Permanent Environment Protection Order, and continuing mandamus issued by the Court of Appeals. “With this status, activities such as earth moving, cutting of trees, construction of houses and other buildings, illegal mining, expansion of vegetable gardens and other anthropological activities, which includes tourism-related activities are prohibited,” Mr. Pablo said. The notice explained that the current status of the mountain “was issued to secure for the present and future generation of the surrounding communities of Baguio City and Tuba, Benguet, a protected major source of potable water supply.” Mr. Pablo also stressed that “all requests in violation of the prohibitions to enter” will “automatically denied.”