Office of the President plans to cut trees in Baguio

By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — The Office of the President has asked for a tree cutting permit for 32 Caliandra trees to be cut at the present Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Cordillera compound, which will soon be fenced for the building of a summer house for the Office of the Executive Secretary across the presidential Mansion at Brgy. Lualhati, here.

PIA Cordillera will have until the end of December to vacate the compound to give way to the construction of the proposed summer house. The said compound is part of the Mansion land, which is near the forested Wright Park.

Environmentalists here have been sensitive about development projects that require cutting of trees. They have protested the destruction of trees in a proposed mall and several condominium projects here.

But the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the trees marked for cutting were those planted by PIA employees and some media practitioners, and were not part of the original forest cover at Wright Park in compliance with national greening project (NGP).

The tree-cutting application was filed by Carlota Pauly, director of the Mansion, on behalf of the Office of the President, according to a DENR endorsement dated Nov. 14. The 32 trees to be cut are located on the right side of the PIA cottage.

The Office of the President said it would replace these trees with Benguet pine trees, according to the letter from Rainier Balbuena, city environment and natural resources officer (Cenro).

The Cenro asked Mayor Mauricio Domogan to issue the clearance required before the DENR could issue a tree-cutting permit.

The PIA has been holding office at the cottage for several years now. The compound has also served as venue for press conferences, media activities and gatherings. # nordis.net

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