THE Baguio City Council passed on first reading a proposed ordinance seeking to establish a bamboo sanctuary and explore the possibility of public-private partnership (PPP) for its sustainable management.
Ordinance 63-2016, authored by Councilor Elaine Sembrano, seeks to reforest pieces of land identified as vacant forest areas under the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of 2016.
“The areas will be reforested or planted with various kinds of bamboo species as its main vegetation along with other greenery. The ratio shall be at least 50 percent bamboo, 40 percent Baguio pine and 10 percent, other tree species,” the proposed ordinance states.
The proposed ordinance tasks the City Environment Parks and Management Office (Cepmo), as lead implementing agency, to draft a Bamboo Sanctuary Development Plan. The Cepmo may coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera office for technical assistance.
The development plan is expected to outline plans for the establishment and maintenance of the bamboo plantation as well as provide guidelines for the harvest and utilization of bamboo products for livelihood.
No structures will be constructed within the bamboo sanctuary except for watch towers for forest guards, water impounding facilities, and trails or foot paths, the ordinance proposes.
“All Townsite Sales Applications over identified vacant forest lands shall be discouraged. However, if there are any applicants for ancestral land claim processed and favorably granted in accordance with RA (Republic Act) 8371 or the Indigenous People’s Rights Act, the zoning as per ordinance number 63 series of 2016 of the same shall remain,” the proposed measure states.