The Philippine’s environmental chief has called for action amid fears that the “City of Pines” is in danger of losing its iconic pine trees.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu on Saturday ordered the conduct of an eco-system research to extend the life of the Benguet pine tree species that abound in this mountain resort city.
“I am really worried that Baguio is losing its pine trees. This is the city’s trademark that is why I alerted my staff in the DENR and Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC) to conduct an ecosystem research, specifically on pine trees to extend its life span,” Cimatu said on the sidelines of the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming.
The study will start with the inventory of pine trees and he wanted its results submitted in a month.
Cimatu said that upon his arrival in Baguio on Friday, he instructed the DENR in the Cordillera to immediately start the counting of trees so the agency could take steps to preserve and protect them.
He said that he is really interested in pine trees because this what makes the city of Baguio unique among other tourist destinations, aside from its cool weather.
Cimatu said in the past, every time people visit the city they can immediately smell the scent of pine, which has been missing these days.
“The pine tree inventory will pave the way for the DENR and WWRRC to come up with an ecosystem research to check the status of pine trees in Baguio,” he said.
He said that he will also be sending scientists specializing in landslides and climate change to conduct a research and to come up with measures during calamities.
He assured that 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 directives for the rehabilitation of Baguio. We are still focusing in 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.
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