Baguio City hiking trail closed indefinitely after tourists dump trash, destroy plants

Coconuts Manila
January 11, 2021

And this is why we can’t have nice things.

Camp John Hay in Baguio City announced over the weekend that it was closing its hiking trail after visitors destroyed its plants and left countless pieces of garbage in the area.

In a statement that appeared online, the camp’s management said that it condemns what the tourists had done, which it described as a case of “environmental irresponsibility and complete disregard of nature.” It added photos of the destruction left by the irresponsible trekkers, such as an image of a vandalized plant and the heaps of garbage that were left in the visitors’ wake.

“Empty bottled water, food wraps, cigarette butts, wet wipes, and even diapers are being collected along the trails. These materials are flammable, more so when added with dried pine needles that with a single flick of [a] cigarette butt can cause a massive forest fire,” the Camp said.

Read: Give no f*cks: Baguio City now has an anti-profanity ordinance

The statement added that in order to clean up the area and allow the destroyed plants to recover, the trail will be closed indefinitely. The management said it will evaluate if re-opening the trail was “viable.”

“Significant consideration shall be given on tourists’/trekkers’ environmental responsibility to respect the trails otherwise it will be closed permanently,” the management added.

Formerly a United States military base, Camp John Hay was first opened in 1900 for American servicemen who wanted a respite from the Philippines’ punishing tropical heat. It has since become a popular tourist destination for Filipinos who want to enjoy Baguio City’s cool weather, especially during the summer months.

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