The City Environment and Parks Management Office raised their opposition to the proposal of the Baguio City Police Office to put up a ‘Bike Park’ within the tree park owned by the Government Service Insurance System near the Baguio Convention Center reservation.
In a letter to Mayor Mauricio Domogan, CEPMO Department Head Ruben Cervantes said they oppose the BCPO proposal since the area serves as an educational research site for biological/environmental students of various colleges in the city.
More importantly, Cervantes said the tree park serves as carbon sequestration area and heat insulator within the central business district.
Recently, BCPO City Director Police Senior Supt. Eliseo Tanding wrote a letter to the Quintin Bañez stating their plan to maintain the tree park under an “Adopt a Park Program.”
“We are designing a framework for a ‘Bike Park’ if granted with this proposal in partnership with Mountain Bike Organizations in the City of Baguio wherein regular maintenance, upkeep and park development shall be undertaken provided that no trees and plants shall be cut nor damaged in the area,” Tanding said.
While there was no reply yet from the GSIS, CEPMO Forest Technician Danilo Killip reported that there was already a cleared portion within the tree park conducted by BCPO to serve as track for off-road bikers although no tree was cut.
“To avoid criticism and exaggerated opinion from the public, BCPO should refrain further from clearing the area unitl such time that their request will be granted by concerned office,” Killip recommended.
In the BCPO letter, Tanding said they chose the tree park for their “advocacy on environmental stewardship and civic partnership” because of its significance and ideal location.
“We firmly believe that environmental preservation and protection is one among our goals in our organization and we look forward that rewards of this project shall benefit park users especially in promoting air quality, greener and development rolled into one,” Tanding furthered.
Ahead of the GSIS’ reply, the BCPO undertook clearing of the tree park which Exec. Sgt. Arlan Dumaguing of the Police Community Relations and Development Division said was intended to prevent law offenders from holing up in the area. He said markings were also installed temporarily as ground preparation in anticipation of the GSIS’ positive response on the bike park proposal.
By Jessa Mardy P. Samidan
Banner photo by: Armando M. Bolislis