By Zaldy Comanda
Baguio City – In celebration of Cordillera Day, a total of 50,000 Benguet Pine seedlings were planted by the SM management and city government employees at an adopted site at the Busol watershed, last July 14, in this city.
SM City Baguio employees, together with representatives from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), local government of Baguio, and the Baguio Water District (BWD) trooped to the Busol watershed to plant some 20,000 Benguet Pine saplings as part of the company’s commitment to bring back the greenery of the city’s environment.
The 20,000 saplings that were planted were part of the 50,000 saplings that were committed to be planted by the company within the Busol watershed. Deyan Construction, SM City Baguio’s reforestation contractor, will plant the remaining 30,000 seedlings.
Aside from the 50,000 tree saplings that were planted in Busol watershed, SM City Baguio’s contractor will be planting another 50,000 fruit bearing trees in the perimeter of the 139-hectare property in Sto. Tomas School Area and Camp 7 for the remainder of the year.
Mall Manager Rona Vida Correa, reported that from 2012 to 2014, SM City Baguio was able to plant within the Busol watershed some 24,092 assorted tree saplings which was the initial wave of trees that were planted within the city’s premier watershed that supplies some 40 percent of the city’s potable water supply.
Under its reforestation contract with SM, Deyan is obliged to maintain the planted trees for a three-year period until such time that the planted trees will be able to independently grow and service their purpose.
She said SM still has a balance of some 350,000 assorted tree saplings that will be panted in the different parts of the city.
“Thus, SM’s commitment to plant 500,000 trees within five years could be shortened depending on the availability of the planting sites where the saplings will be planted and maintained by its contractor, Correa said.
SM City Baguio assured stakeholders that it will remain committed in helping concerned government agencies and the local government sustain their environmental preservation and protection programs to be able to maintain the city’s forest cover instrumental in balancing its cool climate for the benefit of the present and future generations.