October 7, 2022

Measures have been employed to save the pine trees with scraped trunks within the Buyog Watershed reservation.

The City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) Forestry Division under Engr. Sofronio Pascua said they undertook painting of the scraped off portions of the five affected trees on Sept. 7.

This is to prevent infestation from pest and diseases to aid the trees to recovery.

In a report to Cepmo Head Rhenan Diwas, the division said investigation of the incident is continuing particularly on determining the culprits.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong who earlier ordered the investigation said that the city will do everything to make sure that individuals responsible for the harming of the trees will be identified and held liable.

Dapat silang managot, hindi namin sila tatantanan hanggat hindi sila nahuhuli at nakakasuhan,” he said.

He also asked witnesses to cooperate by coming forward with any helpful information to facilitate the investigation and identification of those responsible.

Cepmo received a complaint from West Quirino Hill Punong Barangay Anselm Tao-ing on the presence of the damaged trees.

The team coordinated with Pinget Punong Barangay Pablo Pawi, Jr. who informed they also saw the trees when they conducted a joint tree planting activity last Aug. 29 and the barangay is also conducting its own investigation.

A security guard assigned in the area told the team he noticed the damaged trees on Aug. 24 but had no knowledge of who were responsible for it.  Residents nearby also failed to provide any information on the perpetrators.

Investigation showed that five trees with diameters ranging from 16 to 22 centimeters and height of five to six meters were damaged with two of them totally girdled and three partially girdled. Buyog is one of the remaining watersheds in the city now largely occupied by informal settlers. – Aileen P. Refuerzo and Ariel U. Biala