The Mt Pulag Management Board said that the decision to close the highest mountain in Luzon was made by Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan upon the feedback of the Mt Pulag Guides Association.
The announcement was triggered more by the forest fires that hit the town of Kabayan in Benguet instead of the threat of the novel coronavirus.
Last Saturday, February 22, the management already asked those trekking the Akiki trail to "desist from entering the southern ingress."
A forest fire was triggered at Sitios Abucot and Tinuping in Barangay Eddet in Kabayan on Sunday, February 23.
According to Kabayan police chief Police Captain Peter Camsol Jr, boulders and other debris are falling from the burning mountain as the fire's direction is downward.
Also last February 11, a forest fire that started in Barangay Adaoay, also in Kabayan, raged on for 4 days, destroying 150 hectares of forestland in its wake.
Last February 16, the management also refrained the taking of selfies at Mt Pulag.
"Selfies have caused fatal accidents globally in many mountains in some parts of the world. In connection with this, please remind every now and then about this restriction in any mountain," the bulletin said. – Rappler.com