Baguio City, Philippines – In a bid to safeguard pine trees after 100 were cut-down by developers, a five-year moratorium or temporary prohibition of tree cutting activities in the City of Pines was proposed and is now approved on second reading by the city council during their regular session held on June 20, 2022.
The ordinance states that the Benguet Pine trees (Pinus kesiya) only numbers to 492,974 or 19.7% of the total trees.
The Benguet Pine, it said, is being lost to development and urban expansion.
It is expected that with the moratorium placed, the city would be able to breathe, recover and regain its forest covers.
The ordinance said that such is needed so that the pending Urban Forest Management Master Plan of the City Government of Baguio will not be rendered futile.
“The City of Baguio welcomes development, but not to the extent of depriving our people of the many benefits derived from urban forest,” added the ordinance.
Violation of the city ordinance shall result to a fine of P5,000.00 and confiscation of lumber, any tree-cutting tools and equipment and an imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, with the discretion of the court.
The said penalty shall be applied for first and subsequent offenses. Sanctions are to be subjected to the requirements on due process.
Implementation Once approved, the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) shall monitor the implementation of the ordinance and act on behalf of the city government apprehension and the imposition of sanctions to individuals or groups, may it be public or private for violations.
The ordinance shall be made effective for at least five years upon its final approval.
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