31 Hikers Arrested For Climbing Mayon Volcano
Just recently, authorities in Albay arrested 31 mountaineers after attempting to climb Mayon Volcano without the necessary clearance and permits.
Senior Inspector Randy Bachiller, acting chief of Malilipot PNP, revealed that mountaineers led by Jeff Mansibang from Los Banos, Laguna were caught in Barangay San Roque at around 10 in the morning.
They were charged for violating Section 11 of Albay Ordinance No. 0023-2016, where the guidelines for trekking the Mayon Volcano are stated.
Malilipot Tourism Office Consultant Rommel Candaza revealed that the mountaineers were released at around 4 in the afternoon on the same day after they paid a P5,000 fine.
According to him, first time offenders are fined P5,000 while a second offense will give them one year imprisonment.
The mountaineers were reported by a concerned citizen who saw them trekking at around 4 a.m. on Sunday at Barangay Bonga, Bacacay, Albay.
“Since Sunday, we started to wait for them in different camps at the foot of the volcano but the mountaineers were able to evade us and tried to look for different exit points,” Candaza reported.
The Albay provincial council is now looking to strengthen punishment for violators who would attempt to climb the volcano in the future. The emphasis is both on the conservation of the Nature Park, and the safety of the mountaineers as well as an Alert level 1 status is still in effect for Mayon Volcano.
“I asked them (provincial board) for a meeting to discuss things so that we would know what appropriate action needs to be done,” Albay Board Member Howard Pem Imperial said.
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