ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the conduct of an inventory of pine trees in the country’s Summer Capital after observing that more than 100 trees in Camp John Hay are either dead or dying.
Cimatu, a retired military general who attended the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City, assured residents of Baguio that he will study what is best for the city with regards to the dying trees.
“I have discussed this with my staff because I became worried when I saw pine trees dying which brought me to question my staff on how long is the lifespan of a pine tree (to) which they answered, a century,” Cimatu said.
A member of PMA Magiting Class of 1970, Cimatu recalled his youth in the academy. Cimatu said he recalled that the pine trees had more vibrant color and their barks were not peeling off.
“While at Camp John Hay, I saw one pine tree about to die which worried me. I counted the number of pine trees that were dying or were already dead, and I counted more than 100. We might be losing the pine trees here in Baguio," Cimatu stated.
Cimatu said he is really interested in pine trees because these make the city of Baguio unique among the tourist destinations, aside from its cold weather.
"The pine tree inventory will pave the way for the DENR and Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC) to come up with an ecosystem research to check on the status of pine trees in Baguio," he said.
He said he will also be sending scientists specializing in landslides and climate change to conduct a research and to come up with measures to prevent calamities.
Cimatu assured the research to be conducted by his office and WWRRC will not lead to the national government issuance of an order for the rehabilitation of the city.
"Honestly, there is no directive for the rehabilitation of Baguio. We are still focusing on Boracay since we still have a year to fully rehabilitate it. And now we are rehabilitating Manila Bay so Baguio is not yet subject for rehabilitation," he said. (With a report from PNA)