Baguio City: next in line for rehab - DENR

Baguio City: next in line for rehab - DENR

First was Boracay, Manila Bay, will Baguio city be the next to be rehabilitated by the Duterte administration?

It seems to be the next one on the list, officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have set their eyes on the Baguio City.

DENR Secretary Roy Ciatu has assigned a team to conduct a month long study on Baguio’s pine forests. He notes that the number of pine trees have dwindled and continues to disappear.

"Because Baguio is pine trees and pine trees is Baguio. So noon sabi nga nila have you noted, pag-akyat mo sa Baguio nanganganoy na ang pine trees, ngayon hindi na kasi kokonti na lang leaves niya," Cimatu said

Where are the pines? (photo credit to owner)

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they will also include in the study if the decrease in the number of pine trees were caused by natural causes.

"Bibilangin po 'yan (trees) and at the same time masiguro na hindi na mabawasan at kung maaari madagdagan pa. 'Yan ang main objective niyan. Titingnan din kung baka may natural cause kaya unti-unting namamatay ang mga pine trees. Pag-aaralan din po 'yan," Antiporda.

Antiporda added that Baguio city will not be totally closed like what the government did to Boracay.

"As much as possible, gagawin po natin yan na ika nga hindi naaabala angnegosyo sa Baguio dahil ang sitwasyon diyan iba rin sa sitwasyon ng Boracay... pero nakikita natin eh iba naman ang operasyon na ginagawa ng taumbayan ng Baguio kung kaya't nakikita ng DENR mas mabilis 'yang magiging rehabilitasyon," he said. 

Local agriculturists have also made it known that many pine trees have been dying since two years ago.

Sec. Cimatu, said he is also looking into the restriction of building construction on city slopes as he may also order the suspension of issuing building permits for such.

Baguio City officials welcomes the DENR’s suggestions.  "If that will be imposed, it is possible that can be imposed in Baguio…There are sectors that will oppose it but many will also welcome that development," City Councilor Elmer Datuin said. 

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Report from CNNPhils

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