Preser­va­tion of her­itage trees pushed

Sun.Star Baguio - - TOP STORIES -

THE CITY Coun­cil ap­proved on first read­ing a pro­posed or­di­nance man­dat­ing the preser­va­tion of cen­tury and her­itage trees in the city.

Coun­cilor Le­an­dro Yan­got, Jr in his pro­posed mea­sure said all trees iden­ti­fied to have lived for more than 100 years will be de­clared as cen­tury trees. Im­por­tant tree species which have not yet reached 100 years but are con­sid­ered eco­log­i­cal, his­tor­i­cally or cul­tural valu­able or be­long­ing to rare species, or are ad­ja­cent or near wa­ter source, spring or well and whose cut­ting or de­struc­tion will dis­rupt or de­stroy the wa­ter source, shall be de­clared as her­itage trees and shall re­ceive the same pro­tec­tion under the lo­cal leg­isla­tive mea­sure.

Under the pro­posal, the City Mayor is tasked to cre­ate and es­tab­lish a Spe­cial Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee com­posed of the City En­vi­ron­ment and Parks Man­age­ment Of­fi­cer (CEPMO), chair­man of the City Coun­cil Com­mit­tee on Health and San­i­ta­tion, Ecol­ogy and En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, City Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer, City Bud­get Of­fi­cer, pres­i­dent of the Liga ng mga Barangay, pres­i­dent of the Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan Fed­er­a­tion, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Baguio Re­green­ing Move­ment (BRM), Baguio Wa­ter District (BWD), De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR), Alay sa Kalin­isan Inc. and De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd). CEPMO is the lead of­fice to eval­u­ate, de­ter­mine and ap­prove dec­la­ra­tion of cen­tury and her­itage trees.

Fur­ther, barangay of­fi­cials, school au­thor­i­ties, non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions and civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions will sub­mit to CEPMO a list­ing of prospec­tive trees then for­wards the list to the Spe­cial Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee for con­fir­ma­tion, val­i­da­tion and ap­proval.

Upon the dec­la­ra­tion of a tree as a cen­tury tree or her­itage tree, the or­di­nance states a metal plate or marker shall be is­sued and strapped to the tree for mon­i­tor­ing pur­poses, among oth­ers.

Yan­got claimed each de­clared cen­tury and her­itage tree will be strapped with the use of an iden­tity plate, and in­scribed therein the needed in­forma-

tion, par­tic­u­larly the name of the tree, spe­cific and sci­en­tific; date of dec­la­ra­tion; ap­prox­i­mate age; tree reg­istry num­ber; and lo­ca­tion of the tree and that the words, “The city gov­ern­ment of Baguio de­clares this tree as a cen­tury and her­itage green, and all cit­i­zens are en­joined to pro­tect and pre­serve this tree as part of our nat­u­ral trea­sure and pat­ri­mony.”

How­ever, he noted any cen­tury tree which has been iden­ti­fied and found to be inside a pri­vate lot will be ex­empted from the dec­la­ra­tion, un­less cov­ered by an agree­ment be­tween the lot owner and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment and barangay chair­man stat­ing, among oth­ers, that the pri­vate owner had vol­un­tar­ily ap­proved the tree to be de­clared as a cen­tury tree or her­itage tree and that the tree shall be pro­tected under the mea­sure.

Any per­son who will vi­o­late any pro­vi­sion of the or­di­nance shall, upon con­vic­tion, be sub­jected to a fine of P5,000 per vi­o­la­tion, or im­pris­on­ment of 6 months or both upon the dis­cre­tion of the court. If the vi­o­la­tor is a ju­ridi­cal en­tity, the man­ag­ing of­fi­cers and other per­sons re­spon­si­ble for the vi­o­la­tion will be li­able for the penal­ties. If the vi­o­la­tor is a for­eigner, he or she will be sub­jected to na­tional law and pro­ce­dures on de­por­ta­tion af­ter serv­ing his sen­tence. Dex­ter See

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