Only 2 of 6 CAR provinces not bald, environment official says
Pine forests in Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera mountains have thinned at alarming levels as the environment department here rang a bell to everyone to reclaim its lost grandeur.
BY ACE ALEGRE
BAGUIO CITY – Pine forests in Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera mountains have thinned at alarming levels as the environment department here rang a bell to everyone to reclaim its lost grandeur.
Baguio City, perhaps the only city in the country clad with pine trees in fact has only 20 percent forest cover, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel said here on Aug. 9 during a briefing before the Aug. 25 simultaneous launching of the government’s “Green Philippine Highways” program.
Baguio’s scenic environment and idyllic atmosphere will be completely lost when these forest cover will continue to be diminished by wanton disregard to re-greening it, the DENR official said.
Only the former U.S. rest and recreation facility Camp John Hay and South Drive area have solid forests remaining, Peñafiel said, and the rest are settlements which affect the attractiveness of the city.
In the 1900s, Baguio City, which has only 5,000 has. land area, was designed by American architect Daniel Burnham only for 25,000 residents.
Today, the highland resort city has 300,000 residents. Falling short of the standard of forest cover, Baguio City like the rest of the Cordillera region should even have more forest cover because of the steep slopes and greater amount of precipitation, the DENR
director added. “We should no more devout the city to more settlements and reduce the remaining 20 percent forest cover,” Peñafiel warned.
Peñafiel reiterated re-greening the city should start now. “We must consider the soil type and slope of Baguio City that when we decrease further the forest cover, we see a bad environment for the city,” he explained.