BAGUIO CITY December 31 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan commended the management of SM Prime Holdings, the operator of the largest chain of malls in the country, for their planned planting of at least one million assorted trees in different parts of the country with the Summer Capital and Benguet hosting around 50 percent of the tree species to be planted.
The local chief executive cited the move of SM management to contribute in the overall efforts of government to reinvigorate the state of the environment not only in Baguio and Benguet but also in other parts of the archipelago should be emulated by individuals and groups who are inclined to advocate for the preservation and protection of the environment.
“We deeply appreciate the move of SM management to plant at least 500,000 assorted trees in identified critical watersheds in Baguio and Benguet because it would significantly contribute in the combined efforts of various sectors to sustain the existence of the trees in our forests for the benefit of the present and future generations,” Domogan stressed.
According to him, SM management showcases one of their best practices in environmental preservation and protection as they do not only plant trees but they also hire foresters to strictly monitor the growth of the planted tree seedlings and if they monitor that the seedlings die, they immediately replace them in order to be able to realize their growth in the future.
Domogan added the monitoring and replacement of the planted tree seedlings is good for at least three years to ensure the continuous growth of the planted materials and for the trees to serve their purpose in the future.
Of the city’s 57.4 square kilometers land area, Domogan expressed disappointment over the fact that only 20 percent remain to be forested which is considered to be alarming, thus, the need to exert extra efforts to bring back the greenery of the city’s mountains.
Engr. Paquito T. Moreno, regional executive director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR), joined the city government in hailing SM management for their unsolicited contributions in the goal of trying to work out the preservation and protection of the remaining patches of pine stands in Baguio City and Benguet in the coming months.
“We still need more institutional partners like SM so that we will be able to effectively and efficiently contribute in the government’s goal of reforesting at least 1.5 million hectares of denuded watersheds nationwide. We look forward to much bigger partnerships with institutional partners for us to realize our goal of planting more than 1.5 billion assorted tree seedlings in the different parts of the country,” Moreno stressed
He added SM’s choice of planting more than half of its commitment to plant 1 million assorted tree seedlings in Baguio and Benguet would definitely contribute in bringing back the greenery of barren mountains and contributi8ng in increasing the availability of water supply for the river systems tracing their headwaters to Baguio and Benguet, specifically the Bued river along Kennon road, Agno river providing water for the Ambuclao and Binga dams among others that are located in the different parts of the province.