New mayor calls for cooperation in protecting environment

IN CELEBRATION of the Environment Month, Baguio City mayor-elect Benjamin Magalong urged government line agencies and the public to work hand in hand in protecting the environment.

In the weekly Kapihan sa Baguio, Magalong said cutting of trees should require approval from all concerned agencies involved in protecting the environment.

“At the end of the day, kailangan ng lahat ng ahensya na involve in protecting that particular tree or number of trees na dapat mag usap –usap. It’s a matter of conferring (with) the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), hindi yung unilateral na nagdedesisyon lang yung ating local government. You confer with other groups. Marami pa ditong mga cause-oriented groups, mga movements and if we can talk to them and discuss everything with them para everybody is aligned," Magalong said.

Magalong reiterated his administration wants to listen and consult everyone to participate in the governance.

Engineer Ralph Pablo, regional executive director of DENR, said most of the trees found in the Cordillera are classified as “closed forest.”

“Kung sa Cordillera out of the 1.65 million hectares, 85 percent are forest, ibig sabihin something 1.5 million hectares and out of 5.4 million hectares of forest are still 43 percent of the total of 1.5 is forested. Kung sa Baguio naman ang pag-uusapan out of the 5,750 hectares, 1,643 hectares ang forested area that amounts to 28 percent of the total area of Baguio,” Pablo stated.

Earlier this year, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered an inventory all the trees in Baguio City.

On April 22 this year, 500 seedlings were planted in the area of Wright Park, the first tree planting activity conducted in Baguio prior to the onset of the rainy season.

Some 3,500 seedlings were planted inside the Presidential Mansion through the help of the Philippine Security Group (PSG).

“Ito yung sinasabi nga ni Mayor na celebration sa kanyang pagkapanalo bilang alkalde ng siyudad ng Baguio na dapat magtanim nalang ng kahoy instead of having a victory party," Pablo added. (With a report from Nica Regalario/UC intern)


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