BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all homeowners and developers of residential subdivisions within the city to plant trees in their open spaces, preserve and maintain the same and providing penalties for violators.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab stated all homeowners, natural or juridical, of existing residential subdivisions, shall plant trees in open spaces required by law to be reserved for the common use and enjoyment of all the owners of the lots therein, as well as along all roads and service streets.
In cases of subdivisions to be developed, the ordinance provides all development plans approved after the effectivity of the measure shall mean that it shall be incumbent upon the owner or developer of the subdivision project to plant trees in the open spaces duly identified in the plan. Where the open spaces in a subdivision project have already been donated or turned over to the city, the homeowners association may undertake the planting of trees and avail of the incentives provided under the ordinance.
To preserve and enhance the growing of trees already existing or planted in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance, the cutting of trees and its branches shall be governed by existing ordinances, laws and regulations as well as the Environment Code of the city.
Upon effectivity of the ordinance, any homeowner and developer who voluntarily undertakes to plant trees in open spaces shall be entitled to free tree seedlings from the City Environment and Parks Management Office which he or she could plant in any available space in their neighborhood.
On the other hand, any existing homeowner of residential subdivisions who wilfully refuses to implement the provisions of the ordinance shall be fined P5,000.
The ordinance tasked the barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to strictly implement the local legislative measure.
The ordinance added the the penalty paid by a violator to the barangay treasurer shall be apportioned where 50 percent shall accrue to the general fund of the barangay as incentives while the remainder of the proceeds shall be remitted to the City Treasury Office every 30th day of the month.
The City Mayor, City Treasurer and the barangay concerned shall enter into an agreement anent the sharing of the proceeds from the administrative penalties imposed on the violators of the provisions of the ordinance.
Under the proposal, violators shall be informed of their violation and the penalty associated with it by means of a citation ticket system.
After the effectivity of the ordinance, the concerned barangay where the existing residential subdivisions are located shall furnish the homeowners a copy of the measure that will serve as their guide in complying with the pertinent provisions to avoid being imposed the administrative fine.
By Dexter A. See