Mt. Apo fire shows need to protect forests – archbishop

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MANILA, March 31, 2016— The raging fire in the country’s highest peak shows the need for stricter measures to prevent further environmental damage, a Church official said.

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles sought for a concerted effort to protect Mount Apo and other forests instead of just trying to stop forest fires whenever it flares up.

“This sad situation brings us again to the truth: we must work together to preserve, protect, and help sustain God’s gift of nature and environment, his gift which is in fact our very home,” Valles said.

Since Saturday, hundreds of firefighters and volunteers have surrounded the forest fire that has affected some 300 hectares of areas around the mountain.

“The fire is still continuing to devastate more areas,” Valles said, adding that firefighters are having difficult time controlling and stopping the blaze.

Local authorities have already ordered the closure of Mt. Apo to trekkers for a period of three to five years.

“It makes sense. And I trust in their wisdom and competence to plan and implement whatever they see as for the good of the whole of Mt Apo area,” said the prelate, lauding the move. (CBCP News)

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