Domogan backs JHMC on cutting of trees-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, February 18, 2013
BAGUIO CITY Mayor Mauricio Domogan backed the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) in the cutting of 60 pine trees that were already validated dead in 2010.
Domogan said he issued the tree cutting permit upon the request of Camp John Hay Golf Club for the 60 dead trees as these were posing imminent danger to lives and properties, especially of golfers set to be participating in the Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament in November 2012.
“There was a threat that if the trees were not cut, they would cancel the Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament,” Domogan said.
“The Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament is a very popular activity in Baguio City that sustains tourism,” the mayor said adding, “it is embarrassing if they would cancel it just because of the dead trees.”
The mayor said what is important is that the City Government took action by issuing the tree cutting permit to immediately cut the dead trees following the recommendation of the Camp John Hay Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT), which is composed of some Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) representatives.
He emphasized lapses in the process could be fixed since the DENR is part of the MMT and that “there is already imminent danger to life and property which gives them power to cut the dead trees.”
“We are not saying we will violate the process because these were declared dead and infested way back in 2010,” he said.
The mayor added they are not only protecting golfers and properties inside Camp John Hay but also other healthy pine trees that might be infested by bugs (ips calligraphus), which affected the dead trees.
He also added that the same slow process of addressing dead trees happens in other parts of Baguio City resulting in some dead trees falling on houses of people especially during typhoons.
The mayor also lamented how people criticize them for not taking action against these dangerous trees and yet are also criticized when they do take action.
In an earlier statement, JHMC President and chief executive officer Dr. Jamie Eloise Agbayani said they were in close coordination all the time with the DENR on the fate of the pine trees that were requested to be cut in 2010 but only addressed last year.
But Agbayani earlier stressed they are bound to replace the dead trees with 100 trees for every tree that was cut.
She also assured other measures to protect the pine trees inside Camp John Hay are being done by the JHMC as they are also in the process of looking for tree doctors that would evaluate the current forest condition.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 19, 2013.