Gov’t agencies plant trees to protect BABRC vs claimants
Officials and staff members of regional line agencies planted trees to preserve the forest covers and help protect the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC) from intrusions.
The tree planting was spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture under Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey; Department of Environment and Natural Resources led by Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Maximo Soriano, Jr.; and the Police Regional Office-Cor Regional Community Affairs Division led by Col. Maly Cula.
The DENR turned over 2,000 pine tree seedlings to DA for the activity, dubbed “Plant a tree today, save tomorrow: A bayanihan reforestation project.”
Odsey said the activity is one of the continuing initiatives to preserve the piece of land in Baguio that will affect the lives of a lot of Cordillerans in terms of agricultural undertakings.
Cula assured PRO-Cor’s support to the DA by providing manpower for its forestry projects for the BABRC.
Soriano lauded the men in uniform, DA, and DENR staff members for taking time off their busy schedule to take part in the tree planting.
Prior to the tree planting, tarpaulins were installed around the 94-hectare site stating BABRC is a government property and is not for sale, pursuant to Proclamation 603 issued by then president Manuel Quezon in 1940 that reserved the BABRC for animal breeding purposes.
Odsey said the previous claims over the property and the intrusions in May and June are left with the courts.
“But since 1940 this (land) has been in the physical possession of the DA. We have been using it to help farmers so that we will be able to assist them in terms of technologies even in the provision of livestock, some planting materials, and as a training center. For the selfish purposes of others who want to grab it, will not push through because with the help PRO-Cor and DENR, we can preserve this reservation,” he said.
BABRC Chief Robert Domoguen remains hopeful the efforts will contribute to securing the BABRC for the area to fulfil its ecological functions for Baguio, Tuba, and as far as La Union.
He said some portions of the oak forest located at the BABRC compound was planted by the DENR in the past.
He added a “camp green police” is being built at the BABRC compound that will serve as quarters of the PRO-Cor to aid in the security and protection of the facility against trespassing, squatting, and illegal activities.
Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan, regional technical director for Research, Regulations, and Integrated Laboratory, said the DA conducts a yearly tree planting in the area, which has also been used for wellness activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research Division Chief Luis Lang-oy said the preservation of the area benefits not only the present but also the next generation.
He said various trees have been planted in the area, such as coffee and fruit-bearing trees, pine trees, citrus, and leguminous trees.
BABRC is located at Dontogan, Baguio City and continues to serve as an integrated research, training and technology demonstration center, laboratory, agri-tourism center and dairy center, and animal breeding center. It is also used for various projects and researches.
It is where the offices of the Cordillera Integrate Agriculture Research Center, Integrated Laboratory Division, Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, National Meat Inspection Services, National Dairy Authority, Animal Feeds Laboratory, and Mountain High Dairy Cooperative are located. – Press release