June 22, 2024

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, during the Baguio City Council’s regular session on Feb. 26, pressed for the swift completion of the rehabilitation of the arboretum amidst scrutiny over its proposed budget allocation.

Situated along Leonard Wood Road and just a few steps away from the Baguio Botanical Garden, the arboretum is envisioned as a botanical garden dedicated to trees. It is expected to serve as a sanctuary for biodiversity enthusiasts and nature lovers.

During the discussion, Tabanda questioned the necessity of allocating additional funds worth of P5.5 million to a project that had already been initiated and funded in previous years yet remains inaccessible to the public.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña acknowledged the shortcomings in the initial phase of the project. He said phase 1 of the project faced structural issues including destroyed railings and steep inclinations which cause inadequate accessibility especially for persons with disabily. He attributed these issues to poor planning and said there is a need for the city government to rectify them, thus the request for the budget allocation.

Dela Peña assured the city council the proposed funding would facilitate the completion of the rehabilitation project and would address these structural deficiencies, making the facility more accessible to all members of the public.

The allocation is included in the first approved supplemental annual investment program of the city government for fiscal year 2024. 

The arboretum spans five hectares and is within the Forbes Park reservation. Managed by the City Environment and Parks Management Office, the project aims to preserve natural landscapes and promote environmental awareness.

Through its emphasis on biodiversity and sustainable practices, the arboretum will serve as a model for eco-friendly initiatives in the city and beyond. – Jordan G. Habbiling