BAGUIO CITY – The management of SM City Baguio was able to plant a total of about 60,000 assorted tree seedlings in various parts of the city over the past four years demonstrating their support to efforts of the local government and concerned government agencies in preserving and protecting the city’s environment.
Of the total number of trees planted by the giant chain of malls, 24,035 assorted trees were planted in the Busol watershed, 30,200, tree saplings were planted within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Military Academy, 2,157 were planted within the Forbes Park forest reservation, 2,000 tree saplings were planted within the jurisdiction of the Dontogan Elementary School, 907 tree saplings were planted within Salud Mitra barangay, 500 tree seedlings each were planted in Quezon Elementary School and Sto. Tomas Elementary School, among other various sites in the different parts of the city.
To show its commitment and sincerity in helping preserve and protect the city’s environment, SM management hired a company licensed to maintain and protect the newly planted trees to guarantee their growth over a 3-year period and to replace the trees that died.
Busol watershed which has a total land area of 336 hectares with only 112 hectares falling within the jurisdiction of Baguio and the remaining 224 hectares within the jurisdiction of the nearby capital town of La Trinidad, Benguet supplies over 40 percent of the supply of potable water of residents of the city.
At the same time, SM management committed to planting a total of 50,000 assorted tree saplings within the city-owned property in Sto. Tomas School Area with the initial batch of 10,000 seedlings to be planted during the mass tree planting activity of officials and employees of the City Government on September 16, 2016. The remaining balance of 40,000 tree seedlings will be planted in the different of the city-owned property in future dates.
It was learned that SM management assured concerned stakeholders that it will plant at least 500,000 assorted tree saplings within a 10-year period which is more than the compensatory requirement imposed by the environment department for the trees that were affected by its expansion project.
Earlier, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) required the SM management to plant a total of 6,000 tree seedlings in order to replace the number of pine and alnus trees that were affected by the mall expansion project but the mall management committed to plant at least 500,000 trees instead.
SM management called on interested partners to get in touch with them to avail of seedlings they could plant in their desired plantation sites in support of the environmental preservation and protection project that is beneficial to the city.