February 9, 2023

The Norfolk tree whose roots and base trunk appeared to be suffocating when mounds of soil were dumped at its base by the contractor for the widening of Marcos Highway covering Barangays Imelda Marcos and Bakakeng Central is due for cutting, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways-Baguio City District Engineering Office.
In a letter to the Baguio Midland Courier, BCDEO Chief Rene Zarate said the widening at Marcos Highway will affect two mature trees – a Norfolk pine tree and an African tulip.
He said the BCDEO followed procedures in the cutting of trees by first obtaining clearances from Barangay Imelda Marcos, City Environment and Parks Management Office, and Mayor’s Office before applying for a tree-cutting permit from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office.
BCDEO also secured a certificate of non-coverage for environmental impact assessment from the Environment Management Bureau.
The cutting permit is pending before the Cenro. Zarate said once the permit is issued, the contractor will be instructed to cut the trees.
The BCDEO is undertaking several road-widening projects. Some of these projects include the widening at Gov. Pack Road, Kennon Road, and Fr. Carlu loop, which recently resulted in public uproar for these entailed the cutting of a total of 31 mature trees, namely Benguet pine, avocado, pink shower, agoho, bottle brush, and eucalyptus.
Also among the plans is the widening of the road from Baguio General Hospital circle to the Baguio Convention Center, which was supposed to affect several structures of the University of Baguio, and entail cutting of decades-old trees, reason why some institutions, including the St. Francis Seminary and Home Sweet Home expressed their opposition.
The BCDEO has since adjusted the design of these roads resulting in the reduction of the number of trees to be cut to 28. – Rimaliza A. Opiña