Portion of Mt. Pulag, burned in preparation for kaingin
Finding the right balance is often very crucial, especially when it comes to kaingin system, and battle against deforestation.
Local trekkers have recently informed government foresters about another incident involving gardeners who have occupied the Mount Pulag National Park through a route via Nueva Vizcaya province, Inquirer reported.
Photographs sent by the climbers last week displayed trees severely burned to clear segments of a forest, as preparation for planting in zones locally referred as Ganaba and Apunan.
These areas can be reached via the road connecting the Babadak community in Bokod town in Benguet and Balete village in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, Inquirer said.
The officials of the national park confirmed the latest interference situated at the boundary of Buguias and Kabayan towns in Benguet, and reported that the gardeners were moving following a recent crop infestation.
The Mount Pulag National Park is a massive 11,500 hectare land and straddles Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya.
In August 2014, the Montañosa Research and Development Center and Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera the reported that Namal village in Asipulo, Ifugao province, had shortage in camote shortage when the fields in the area were hit by Fusarium wilt, the report said.
Also hit by the plague were camote farms in the communities of Wangwang and Tullodan in Tinoc town, also in Ifugao.
“Farmers butchered their chickens and pigs because they no longer had camote to feed them,” Emerita Albas, the park supervisor said.
They relocated in the forest parts of Mount Pulag to plant high-value vegetables in Benguet, she added
However, the settlers’ crop losses do not validate the devastation of Pulag’s trees, Albas explained, adding that the government “needs to balance things” when it comes to addressing the shortage, the report said.