January 31, 2023

The city has adopted the 10-year Urban Forest Management Plan that will serve as road map for a strategic approach to preservation, management, and expansion of Baguio’s urban forest.
“The plan aims to create a more walkable connections and multi-modal landscape that can offer many of the environmental, economic, social, and health benefits to the people of Baguio city,” City Environment, Parks, and Management Office head Rhenan Diwas said.
For a start, Diwas said Cepmo assures new commercial buildings and public infrastructure works strictly comply with the Environment Code of the City of Baguio.
Cepmo does not issue any clearance for building permit or endorse any application for mayor’s clearance, unless the City Building and Architecture Office certifies that the building has a rainwater harvesting facility, energy efficient devices, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management facilities, he said.
Diwas added that showcase nurseries were established in the Busol and Botanical that have been submitted for bidding, including two more that will be established in the same areas to increase the city’s production capacity.
As of second quarter this year, 22,000 seedlings of diverse species are grown in the city’s various nurseries.
“Apart from these permanent nurseries, we have partnered with the private sector for the establishment of a supplemental tree nursery at Irisan.  These nurseries will support our tree planting activities in strategic locations as defined in the Urban Forest Management Plan,” he said.
Cepmo has also submitted project proposals and documentary requirements to the Department of Budget and Management to qualify for its Local Government Support Fund (LGSF)-Assistance to Cities.
Diwas said the 2019 LGSF was issued a notice of cash allocation to the Bureau of Treasury in the amount of P18 million for the phase 2 of the city’s arboretum in a site perfect for forest bathing, meditation, and relaxation.
A project proposal and design for a new forest park attraction – a bambusetum or bamboo garden – at Dominical Hill and Heritage Park has also been approved by the DBM for 2020 LGSF for another P18M, he added.
“These projects aim to expand the city’s forest covers while engaging the public in experiencing the benefits or preserving the environment,” Diwas said.
His office also monitors  illegal cutting and pruning of trees where four cases of violation of the Environment Code have already been filed at the City Prosecutor’s Office. – Gaby B. Keith