In an effort to preserve and safeguard the remaining 2.5 million trees in the city, Baguio City Representative Mark Go filed a bill before the Congress that seeks a 10-year moratorium on cutting trees in Baguio City.
In a Facebook post, the lawmaker said that there are 500,000 Benguet pine trees in the city of Baguio.
According to him, the cutting of trees in the city, whether private or public land, is going to be prohibited for a period of 10 years except in cases of dead and infected trees that are beyond reviving or may pose a danger to life and property.
Under the proposed bill, construction of any kind shall take into consideration the inclusion and preservation of existing trees in its design. Non-compliance with this measure will result in no-issuance of a construction permit.
Furthermore, live trees that pose a danger to life and property, as well as tree branches that encroach on power and utility lines, may be cut or trimmed in accordance with existing local ordinances.
Once enacted into law, violations will be penalized with imprisonment between two to six years, or a fine of P100,000 to P300,000 for every tree, or both.
Congressman Go has previously filed two more bills that seek to increase the number of existing trees. House Bill 6930 mandates parents to plant two trees for every child born to them, while House Bill 6931 requires senior high school and college students to plant two trees, as a graduation requirement.
Baguio City Council’s five-year tree-cutting moratorium
Earlier on, the Baguio City Council passed on first reading an ordinance that imposes a five-year moratorium on cutting trees in residential, business, and public areas in the city.
The said ordinance proposes to penalize those who will be caught cutting trees in the city during the moratorium with P5,000-fine, confiscation of lumber and tools, and one-year jail term.