Kidapawan City to Build Stairway to Mt. Apo's Summit

Kidapawan City to Build Stairway to Mt. Apo's Summit to Facilitate Tourism -- The city of Kidapawan is set to build a 16,620-step trail step to marvel into the summit of Mindanao's (The country's highest) Mt. Apo. The project has already been presented to the Kidapawan City Tourism Council and media last week. Aside from facilitating easy access to the famous mountain, the "Hagdan ni Apo" (Stair of Apo) is also hoped to facilitate tourism in general.
According to the city government's Investment and Tourism Promotions Office, the project would cost at least P2.5 million. Tourism Officer Joey Recemilla revealed that the stairway covers at least 7 kilometers - from Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan City, where there is also the Mindanao Geothermal Production Field of the Energy Development Corporation.

Along with the stair project for Mt. Apo is the construction of a hanging bridge over Marble River - one of the known longest rivers North Cotabato. Recemilla said:
The project also includes the construction of state-of-the-art public rest rooms at the Marble River and Lake Venado
The parallel projects will be having a welcome center at the entrance of  the Mandarangan trail. There will also be a Research and Conservation Center in the area to be developed.
This time, we will make the tour to the peak a lot easier for tourists by constructing a permanent stairway
Also, by building structures along the pathway leading to the peak, it would discourage tourists and local to create a new trail and other mode of activities that will further destroy the natural park. At least 64,053 hectares of the mountain is considered part of the Mount Apo Natural Park
It will also position Kidapawan City as a major tourism hub in North Cotabato and in the entire Central Mindanao
 The project will be starting anytime soon, using its initial funding of P1 Million.

This proposed undertaking raked in mixed reactions and comments. Issues on eco-tourism and environment management surfaced alongside budget allocation and transparency. The comments written by readers in a source article in Interaksyon.com bring a whole lot of a huge hurdle for the city of Kidapawan to solve and clarify.

In all fairness to the tourism intent of the project proponent, the plan to put up stations like feature to compliment a stairway system to climb Mt. Apo is pretty much like what the Japanese got for Mt. Fuji. The mountain has got stations divided into ten (10), hence it is being hiked in stages, depending on how far you can afford to climb.

I think things boil down to how the system will be managed and sustained according to the premises of environment protection and preservation. Almost always, the story produces completely different ending when it comes to how things are being done along the way; In the Philippine's Kidapawan case, it will depend on how the project proponents deal with the corresponding environmental impact assessment findings, as well as the necessary contingency plans. Nevertheless, proper consultation with all of the stakeholders of the said project should be carried out. It shall not be missed out. (Photo: http://bsece.com)

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