Baguio City has been the home of artists and environmentalists. Its cold weather serves as a haven that warms everyone’s hearts. Called the “City of Pines”—because of the distinct and glorious smell of pine trees as you travel up the city—Baguio is the subject of many films, poetry, and stories throughout the years. (Read: Five Awesome, Fun-filled Places to Visit in Baguio)
However, endless and rapid industrialization has damaged the city. Gone is the smell of pine trees, and the once quiet and dreary town of Baguio is now a noisy and traffic city center, with high-rise buildings all around.
The sad plight of the lovely city has led Bishop Victor Bendico to pour out his lamentation about what’s been happening. The Baguio Bishop has condemned the “continuing mass killing” of fully grown trees in the city.
Against Church Teachings
Bishop Bendico said that the diocese condemns such activities because it goes against the Church teachings on the environment. In a statement, the bishop said that the diocese “strongly opposes and considers as unacceptable the continuing mass killing of full-grown and healthy trees.” (Read: Vatican Applauds ‘Diocese of Maasin’ for Renewable Energy Efforts)
The strongly-worded statement comes after 53 pine trees and one Norfolk fir were cut down by a real estate developer to pave the way for a high-rise residential building.
Murder of Trees
The condominium developer, Vista Residences, defended the tree-cutting operating and said that the company has secured the necessary permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Bishop Bendico, however, said that it is a complete affront of the diocese’s vision and mission on sustaining and taking care of the environment. He added that the “murder” of trees “contempts and despises” the works of environmental advocates who fought for the preservation and protection of the city’s pine trees. (Read: Four personalities who are celebrating the Earth’s 50th birthday—the right way!)
Bishop Bendico joined calls for a moratorium on tree cuttings and construction of big commercial buildings in the city in order to “maintain Baguio as the City of Pines and Summer Capital of the Philippines.”