Daang Kalikasan in Mangatarem, Pangasinan temporarily closed to tourists

Just recently, a newly constructed road in the Province of Pangasinan has become an overnight sensation thanks to its amazing views overlooking the said province. Though far from complete, the aptly named Daang Kalikasan cuts through several forests and mountains in the area, starting from Mangatarem in Pangasinan, all the way to Santa Cruz in Zambales.

Its scenic vistas have tempted tourists to flock to the area. Unfortunately, this unexpected high traffic has also caused a number of road accidents. According to Mangatarem, Pangasinan police chief, Major Aurelio Manantan, a total of seven people were killed in 12 separate accidents since late last year.

The tourists themselves have left a large amount of trash, becoming a major concern for the local government unit (LGU) of Mangatarem. Two fire incidents were also reported after visitors left cigarette butts in the area.

In order to avoid any more accidents and minimize the damage to the immediate area, the LGU of Mangatarem has come to a decision.

Effective today, February 17, 2020, the Mangatarem LGU has ordered the temporary closure of Daang Kalikasan “until further notice”.

Prayoridad po natin ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa. Kasama po dito, nagkakaron din po ng problema ang local na gobyerno ng Bayan ng Mangatarem dahil sa mga naiiwan na basura ng mga bumibisita at mga namamasyal. Ito po ang isa sa pinaka masama na nangyayari sa Daang Kalikasan (Everyone's safety is our top priority. One of the problems that the town of Mangatarem faces now is the trash left by the tourists. That is one of the worst things that ever happened in Daang Kalikasan),” said Pangasinan 2nd District Congressman Jumel Espino.

Daang Kalikasan, which means Nature's Road, was an old logging route that traverses several mountains in the Pangasinan and Zambales provinces. Technically, the 54-kilometer Daang Kalikasan road is still under construction and is scheduled to be completed and opened by the DPWH sometime in 2021. It will connect the towns of Mangatarem, Pangasinan and Santa Cruz in Zambales.