After condo developer, PMA also cutting trees
BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Philippines — The Philippine Military Academy (PMA), has also become the target of an outrage on social media over trees cut during the coronavirus pandemic.
A video circulating online showed a tree being toppled inside the forested reservation of the military school.
The PMA has been allowed to cut 53 trees, including 39 pine trees, from June 24 to July 8 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make way for a new building, according to Navy Capt. Cheryl Tindog, the academy spokesperson.
The new building is part of the 2014 master development plan, which the academy resumed after fresh funds were allocated for its infrastructure improvement.
The permit was approved on June 17 by Ralph Pablo, DENR director for the Cordillera.Last week, Mayor Benjamin Magalong criticized a condominium developer for cutting 53 pine trees and a Norfolk fir on a forested hill at Barangay Outlook Drive. The cutting was also approved by the DENR.In a statement, the developer said it was granted a special private land timber permit on June 18 to remove the trees at a private lot along Outlook Drive, which is surrounded by thick woodland.Losing to development
Magalong said tree cutting during the quarantine affected the plan to rejuvenate green areas, which Baguio lost to urban development.
In 2019, he sought Malacañang approval to declare a moratorium on tree cutting and building construction in Baguio because overcrowding had breached its carrying capacity.Magalong got the backing of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who said in December last year that no more Baguio trees should be cut under his watch.The PMA has been growing trees inside Fort Del Pilar, Tindog said, citing partnerships with government and civic organizations to help nurture “hundreds of thousands of what are now fully grown trees.” —VINCENT CABREZA INQ
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