Cimatu commits to help fast-track moratorium on tree-cutting, new constructions

BAGUIO CITY – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Dec. 6 committed to help fast-track the issuance of an executive order imposing a moratorium on the construction of commercial buildings and tree-cutting in the city.

Cimatu paid a call on Mayor Benjamin Magalong who joined the secretary in inspecting the city’s sewerage treatment plant in North Sanitary Camp and the Environmental Recycling System site in Irisan barangay which are two of the city’s most crucial environmental facilities.

He said his office made some recommendations to the proposed moratorium and will make a follow through with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

He lauded Magalong’s efforts to push for the moratorium to address the city’s environmental problems.

“We all know that Baguio City’s carrying capacity had been exceeded and the executive order granting a moratorium may be the right key to stop once and for all the congestion problem caused by commercial constructions and residential constructions in hazardous areas,” Cimatu said.

He said he sees no problem in implementing the moratorium as there are built-in policies and procedures being applied by the DENR and the local government unit that can readily be applied.

Magalong at the start of his term as mayor pushed for the moratorium citing serious environmental issues being faced by the city.

It was proposed to cover the construction of commercial buildings and cutting of trees for one year and to include a funding component to enable the city to implement rehabilitative programs particularly on the upgrading and expansion of its sewerage treatment system.

Last Oct. 4, the mayor said the President approved the proposal in principle.

Last Oct. 25, he said the documentary requirements for the moratorium order were being prepared by the Dept. of Interior and Local Government under Secretary Eduardo Año./ Aileen P. Refuerzo