Records by the Bokod Municipal Tourism Office show a hike in Mount Purgatory- Mangisi visitors, a notable impact of the information, education and communication (IEC) campaign for the promotion of the eco-tourism site.
Based on records, visitors increased to an average 200- 300 per month from its former 50-100 trend. Highest record was 643 during the month of November. Most of the climbers come in groups usually mountain climber enthusiasts.
Among the IEC activities included the distribution of the produced Mt. Purgatory- Mangisi Coffee Table Book and brochures among partner government and business agencies and, the construction of a bulletin board along the Ambuklao road showcasing the different attractions.
While positive effects bring many opportunities to Bokod community primarily on economic development, corresponding consequences also arise. However, such issues were already expected that led to the (crafting and) adoption of the Mount-Purgatory- Mangisi Ecotourism and Forest Management Plan after its approval last September 2015 by the Bokod Sanguniang Bayan. The plan will serve as the basis for all implementing actions, strategies and eco-tourism guidelines.
Among these sustainable interventions covered the control of tourist visitors by at least 278 individuals per month; restricted access of visitors to some parts of the eco-tourism site; and, the closure of Mount Purgatory from tourist activities during rainy seasons for rehabilitation and regeneration of the mountain particularly July and August, special holidays and strong typhoons.
The promotion of Mount Purgatory as an eco-tourism site aimed to protect its biodiversity by strengthening capacities of the Bokod community on forest governance and eco-tourism for a sustained protection, management and conservation of the Mount Purgatory Ecotourism Area.
Saving Mount Purgatory-Mangisi is a project funded by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) implemented by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc.// IVAN P. LAYAG