BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance setting the guidelines for the celebration of the Baguio City Pine Tree festival pursuant to the provisions of the city’s Environment Code.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that the conduct of the Baguio City Pine Tree festival shall be an institutionalized affair of the local government to inculcate and enhance awareness among the people, appreciate the importance and relevance of pine trees to the environment and heritage of the city as well as the laws, issuances, ordinances and policies related thereto.
The ordinance added the Baguio City Pine Tree festival shall be a week-long celebration on the first week of September each year as part of the kick off activities for the city’s Charter month commemoration to be spearheaded by the local government in partnership with national government agencies and the private sector.
The Executive Committee of the festival shall be authorized to appoint the chairpersons and members of the different committees on the following: public information and education, pine tree planning, technical and evaluation, arts and crafts and cultural, program and awards, and finance.
Each committee shall have a minimum of 7 but not more than 15 members to be appointed or designated by the City Mayor and who shall elect among themselves a chairperson, a co-chairperson and a secretary. Representatives of the local government shall compose 40 percent of the committee membership while representatives of the national agencies and the private sector are allotted 30 percent each.
The ordinance allocates P5 million under the special purpose appropriations of the city budget for the implementation of the provisions of the measure.
The ordinance orders the City Environment and Parks Management Officer (CEPMO), as the chairperson of the Pine Tree festival committee, upon approval of the measure or upon assumption of the new local chief executive, shall undertake the organization of the committee and the selection of the members of the various committees for the issuance of the necessary administrative order by the executive.
Section 233 of Article 333 of Ordinance No. 18, series of 2016 or the city’s Environment Code provides for a Pine Tree festival and declared the months of June, July, August and September each year as tree planting months.
The ordinance reiterated the need to formulate appropriate rules and regulations for the realization of the said mandate pursuant to the existing provisions of the city’s Environment Code and other applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations.
The ordinance emphasized that there will be no monetary compensation for any of the committee members, however, all required and incidental expenses of the festival activities shall be promptly provided by the local government. Likewise, a certificate of appreciation or recognition shall be given to each committee member and festival participants, groups or individual.
By Dexter A. See