Issue of November 12, 2017
Mt. Province

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Incentives for residents who plant, preserve trees proposed
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city government should come up with programs that reward residents who plant, protect, and preserve trees to encourage them to sustain the regreening and tree preservation program.

This was among the recommendations of the city council research division under local legislative staff officer V Dan Ricky Ong in the report submitted to Vice Mayor Edison Bilog on Nov. 7 regarding the monitoring and evaluation of Resolution 138 s. 2014 “Urging the City Environment and Parks Management Office to intensify the conduct of programs or measures in the preservation of trees in the City of Baguio.”

Local legislative staff assistant III Nechel Ocasion reported that based on the tracking, the Cepmo is actively implementing the resolution and pursuing programs to preserve trees, but they found merit in the suggestion of Cepmo forest and watershed management division supervising environment specialist Beatriz Gajete that owners of private lots maintaining pine trees should be given incentives to encourage them to plant and maintain more trees in their property.

Gajete said this may be in the form of tax incentives that would inspire support and cooperation on the city’s program.

She said their division has been undertaking measures to protect, enhance growth, and improve the strength of the remaining trees in parks, forest reservations, watersheds, and private lots.

She said tagging of trees with laminated label has started at the City Hall and Rizal parks and will be undertaken in the other parks.

The office has also been pursuing measures for their tree management and improvement program, particularly the silvicultural treatments such as trimming, pruning, and de-branching of trees to improve their canopies; and tree surgeries, which the office implements yearly with the help of advocacy groups like the Green Core Society.

Gajete said only two skilled tree climbers are in charge of administering silvicultural treatments under Cepmo’s employ, and with the thousands of trees needing attention, there is a need to employ two more personnel, which the Cepmo cannot do at the moment due to budget constraints. 

Ocasion pushed for the adoption of the incentives program and the hiring of the needed personnel for the program.

She also urged the Cepmo to continue encouraging the involvement of environment advocacy groups, barangays and concerned civil society organizations in the implementation of their programs for the preservation of trees and to conduct educational campaigns in the households on their tree care advocacy.

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