TREKKING AREA. The Tinagong Dagat, a major trekking destination inside the Northern Negros Natural Park in this undated photo. The site will be reopened on August 1, 2022 after entry was suspended in September last year due to insurgency-related armed conflict in nearby areas. (File photo courtesy of DENR-PENRO Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has approved the reopening of the Tinagong Dagat, a major trekking destination in the Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP), on August 1.

The area was closed in September last year following incidents of insurgency-related clashes in nearby areas.

As of Thursday, bookings for the climb schedule are already being accepted by the Office of the Protected Area Superintendent.

Protected Area Superintendent Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya said this coming Monday, the Tinagong Dagat will be opened to the public using the official trails of Patag, Campuestohan, and Canlandog.

In Memorandum Order 11, series of 2022, Gerangaya issued the guidelines on the processing of mountaineering permits for major trekking activities, the mandatory hiring of tour guides and porters, and the observance of proper precautionary health measures against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

A weekly interval of entry points will be strictly implemented using the official trails found in Barangay Patag in Silay City; Sitio Campuestohan, Barangay Cabatangan in Talisay City; and Barangay Canlandog in Murcia town.

The trail in Barangay Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto town will be available every week.

Booking forms must be submitted at least two weeks before the scheduled climb to [email protected] or personally to the NNNP satellite office at DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in this city.

A maximum of 15 climbers per group and only 30 climbers per week will be allowed to conduct mountaineering activities, excluding porters and guides.

Mountaineering permit fee is PHP300 per person for locals and PHP500 for foreigners.

Every five climbers are required to hire one guide and one porter. Payment is PHP750 per day for each tour guide and porter.

The “no orientation, no climb” policy will be strictly implemented.

Trek orientation may be attended either virtually or face-to-face. (PNA)