BAGUIO CITY — In response to the call of the people to save the pine trees of Baguio, the City’s lone Representative filed a bill seeking the imposition of a moratorium of tree-cutting in the summer capital also popularly known as the “City of Pines.”
Rep. Mark Go’s proposed legislation seeks to stop tree-cutting activities in the city except for dead trees that pose danger to lives and properties or risk infecting other live trees.
Once enacted into law, big corporations, private property owners, and all government lands must adapt and design their buildings and other infrastructures to co-exist with the trees.
Go’s bill complements two of his other earlier proposed laws — House Bill 6930, mandating parents to plant two trees for every child born to them, and House Bill 6931 which requires Senior High School and college students to plant two trees as a requirement of their graduation. Both have already been approved on second reading in the House of Representatives.
According to the legislator, with the passage of the bills into law, approximately 7 million trees will be planted annually.
Earlier, City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) head Renan Diwas expressed the immediate need to save the pine trees of Baguio. He stressed that losing the trees means losing the very identity of Baguio as the “City of Pines.”
Baguio City Councilor Lloyd Orcales likewise demanded for a moratorium.
“The youth of Baguio with all its people, denounces this type of blatant disregard to the value of trees to our people and our future. The City of Baguio will remain as steward for the protection and preservation of our remaining tree covers. Further, we do not want our children and our children’s children not to be able to breathe clean fresh air and deprive them of the future they deserve, let us together save our youth while we still can,” Orcales noted.
The issue of enforcing a moratorium on tree-cutting recently became hot topic when developers who happened to secure permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources started to clear lands of trees to pave way for the construction of commercial buildings.
One of such activities that caught the ire of Baguio environment advocates and residents is the cutting of 53 trees by Vista Residences owned by Vista Land.