Dispute SM's Earth-Balling of 182 Trees ~ The Philippine Mountaineering

Dispute SM's Earth-Balling of 182 Trees

photo courtesy pixeloffensive.tumblr.com
Baguio City is known for having cold weather but today the environment within the city is experiencing the warmest situation ever. People from all walks of life both Baguio and non-Baguio residents are protesting against their intention of uprooting the 182 trees within their perimeter. According to SM what they are doing is in accordance to the law. The process of earth-balling (trees are dug to get enough of the roots that the tree will grow when it is transplanted) is a serious action against the trees.

Today also is the expiration of the 72-hour Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) against the removal of 182 pine and alnus trees for the expansion of SM City Baguio issued by the Baguio City Regional Trial Court. Today, we are waiting what would be the next solution for this environmental issue. Sad to say, there is no declaration form the Executive branch of the government regarding this topic.

I read the SM SuperMalls declaration regarding the act of earth-balling as part of their redevelopment plans. Also, according to the published "an important message from SM Baguio" the project will also create new opportunities for employment, business and tourism in the city."

According to SM earth-balling is a must for three reasons these are:
1. A new parking facility that will provide alternatives to street parking and, hopefully, help decongest the streets around the facility.
- With regard to parking problem, the problem is with them not on the trees. They choose Baguio as one of the shopping destinations despite they knew from the start that Baguio with land arae of 57.5 km2 (22.2 sq mi) is only suitable habitation and not for mercantile-domination.

The SM must realize the potential of the municipalities or cities of La Union and Pangasinan with bigger place for parking needs is a good option for them. If they want bigger parking space leave Baguio City and the trees and loco mote to the said alternative places.

2. A roof garden with trees and shrubs to cover the building footprint.
- The idea of eco or green architecture will never be a good substitute to the usage and natural grandeur of trees to us. They must stop the advancing their facilities if the effect is to destroy the original footprint of the environment.

3. A rainwater collection system to help control water runoff in and around the property, while providing a secondary water source for the facility’s needs.
- The problem of controlling rainwater collection system can be resolve naturally by not removing or cutting the trees. The runoff of water is implication for the need of more trees to be plant within the said vicinity.

As Mountaineer these are my recommendations allow me to recommend my stand-point for this environmental issue.

photo courtesy no2mininginpalawan.com
First replace landscape with native plants. Landscape isn't particularly effective at absorbing and retaining water, especially during heavy rains like in Baguio City. They must realize to need to utilize the presence of native plants, such as shrubs and wildflowers of the Ibaloi area. Native plants and the abundant wildflower of Baguio will develop more extensive root systems that take in and hold water much better than landscape.

Lastly, plant more trees and conserve recent condition. Trees' huge root systems effectively absorb water over a large area. Even alnus pine trees is not endemic to Baguio City the span of more or less fifty years there is a fact that SM is needing the help of the said trees to retain from their existence.

SM declared that "they sought the approval of Baguio City government and all government agencies and secured these permits over time." The most alarming to their declaration is that "We are not cutting trees. Rather, we are going to ball out some trees carefully and have utilized recommended specialists for this activity who will replant them in designated areas within the SM property."

Not all employment reflects true development and industrialization. To SM's declaration of creating more opportunities for employment, business and tourism they want to mock us. The company forgot that prior to their coming to Baguio City the place is one of the busy and industrialized city in the country. The city is also haven for opportunity for employment and business. With regards to tourism even before SM operation till now, Baguio remains as the summer capital of the country. What is happening today is bad part of the national history. Today, even the child with the age of eight knew what corruption is and how corrupt most of the government officials we have. For the issuance of permit for their action is an implication of rampant corruption. The 182 survivor trees are now part of the growing population of Baguio City and we have to keep them. Let us not allow the powerful Sy group to rape the environment. Allow me extend my appreciation and high respect to all the individuals and groups fighting and for the benefit of the 182 trees.




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5 comments:

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  3. Excellent post mate. You seem to have a great understanding of this subject. Keep doing the great work. Thanks.

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