Developer justifies cutting of 49 trees inside property

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BAGUIO CITY  – The management of the Moldex Realty, Inc. underscored the cutting of the forty nine fully grown trees within its property was covered by appropriate permits issued by the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR).

Rey Diaz, consultant to the Board of Directors of Moldex, said the cutting of the 43 pine and 6 alnus trees within the company’s 3.1-hectare property in Bakakeng Central was above board and pursuant to prescribed rules and regulations issued for the said purpose to pave the way for the construction of another condominium building that forms part of its overall development plan for its purchased property.

Moldex reportedly purchased the property in 1990 and started developing the same in 2013 when it was issued the first tree cutting permit and 2 other similar tree cutting permits prior to the 4th permit which is now the subject of social media discussions.

In lieu of the 49 trees that were already cut, the condominium developer turned over to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) some 2,450 pine tree seedlings which was subsequently planted by elements of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) within the compound of the Presidential Mansion during a tree planting activity supervised by the DENR-CAR last May 24, 2019.

Under the company’s comprehensive development plan of its property, Moldex will only develop 30 percent of the total land area with the construction of some 7 condominium buildings with provisions of a 3-storey underground parking structure while the remaining 70 percent of the property will be devoted for open spaces, nature park among other amenities to improve the scenery of the place.

The tree cutting permit was supported by a barangay clearance, letter request from the property owner, mayor’s clearance with supporting inspection report from the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), building permit issued to the developer by the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) and the titles of the property under the name of the applicant.

Earlier, the local legislative body decided to invite officials of Moldex and the DENR-CAR to shed light on the alleged cutting of some 49 fully grown trees planted within its property to pave the way for the implementation of its development project in the area.

Based on the latest inventory of the DENR-CAR on the number of trees that are still existing within the property, there are a total of 320 saplings and fully grown assorted trees that are still living in the area.

Moldex still plans to put up 2 additional buildings within the identified build-up area of the property to complete its overall development plan that will result to the cutting of additional trees but experts could not yet ascertain the number of trees that will be cut considering the absence of the plans for the structures that will be erected within the property.

Moldex plans to complete its condominium project within the property by next year depending on the demand for condominium units.

By Dexter A. See