ENTRY POINTS to Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak, from towns in Davao del Sur have been temporarily closed following the three earthquakes that hit parts of south-central Mindanao last month, including the province. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office said the local governments of Sta. Cruz, Bansalan, and Digos City have made their trails off limits for now to avoid risks to climbers. Landslides triggered by the earthquakes occurred in some areas at the foot of Mt. Apo. “The safety of the climbers is of utmost priority,” DENR said. Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), in an announcement posted Nov. 3, has stressed that the earthquakes are “tectonic,” which means these were due to movements in faults, and not arising from volcanic activity. Nonetheless, PHIVOLCS said it continues to closely monitor the two active volcanoes near the earthquakes’ epicenter, Mt. Matutum and Mt. Parker, and the “potentially active Mt. Apo.” — Carmelito Q. Francisco