Baguio City mayor hits contractors, bad projs

>> Friday, June 24, 2022

No bidders; city gov’t mulls infra implementation 

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY -- Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned contractors here  on their substandard projects saying they will face charges from the city government if such projects are not made to conform to standards.
    In a recent meeting with the traffic management authorities and project contractors, the mayor issued an ultimatum to contractors undertaking projects to ensure safety of local folks and upkeep of their project sites. The mayor gave them until June 13 to install barriers, proper signages, and to implement occupational, housekeeping and other safety requirements in their project locations.
    Those who fail to comply will face charges of violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
    The mayor said construction companies and their men must make conscious efforts to keep their construction sites safe and tidy for the safety of passersby, commuters, motorists and even their own workers.
    “This is part of your occupational safety responsibility," he said.
    Besides, he said the negligence of some contractors reflects on the image of the city as the disorderly state of the project sites put the city in bad light.
    “When people see dirt along streets, they do not see only a dirty street but a dirty, disorderly Baguio City so please have a care,” he said.
    The mayor during an inspection thumbed down the sidewalk project along Bonifacio St. due to poor workmanship.
    “The tactile pavement is uneven while the PWD ramp is not within the standard.  They have to redo it because I will not accept the project under these conditions,” the mayor said Tuesday.
    The project is under the Baguio City District Engineering Office.
    While inspecting the whole stretch, the mayor called attention on trash on some sections and on a dilapidated post that pose danger to passersby. 
    Both had been referred to the concerned agencies.
    Since institutionalizing project monitoring and inspection before payment issuance, the city has noted vast improvement in the quality of infrastructure projects funded by the city government over the years.
    For city road and other projects funded by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, the city is also part of the final inspection and has a say in the assessment of the outcome.
    The mayor earlier said he intends to conduct more inspections of projects all over the city to help ensure quality implementation of these infrastructures as part of the city’s thrust foster integrity in project implementation to achieve quality and beneficial outputs for the end users.
    This, as City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo recommended implementing small infrastructure projects by administration to remedy bidding problems resulting to non-implementation of said projects. 
    During the management committee meeting June 6, Mayor Magalong agreed the suggestion can be the best option considering concerned departments have good track record in implementing projects.
    The mayor directed Olpindo to submit the recommendation to the city council for deliberation and adaption of revised policies on implementing infrastructure projects.
    He said this has to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the city’s compliance in the utilization of the earmarked development funds and be at par with the standards set in the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) of the national government.
     Olpindo said the other option for projects that cannot be covered by in-house implementation is for the earmarked funds to be returned to the general fund for re-appropriation to other priority projects.
     He said a total of 66 projects programmed under the Local Development Fund from 2019 to 2021 have not been implemented after bidding procedures failed numerous times.
    “Bidding failed because of lack of takers despite multiple attempts of even up to nine times,” he said.
    Majority of the projects have a cost range of P100,000-P500,000 with piecemeal coverage like retaining walls, alleys, canals, stepwalks and the like.
    Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and some city council members in a previous meeting agreed to review procedures and adapt new recommendations to iron out the problem.
    Olpindo said they are in the process of identifying projects that can be implemented by administration and those not tenable will be subjected to re-programming.

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Trader shot dead by bikers in Cagayan


TUGUEGARAO CITY — A trader was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in Amulung town, Cagayan province on Tuesday, police said.
    Police Capt. Isabelita Gano, Cagayan police spokesperson, identified the victim as Ronald Quintos, who sustained a bullet wound to his body.
    Quintos was in front of his house at about 7 a.m. when the unidentified assailants arrived and shot him using a a .45-caliber handgun, investigators said.
    The victim was taken to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
    Investigators said the gunmen sped off with a backup XRM motorcycle.
    Police said they were still trying to determine the motive behind the attack.

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1 hurt, 2 houses destroyed in Mt Province landslide

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Two houses were partially destroyed while a resident was injured when a mountain landslide hit a village here at Poblacion Ili early morning of June 5, disaster officials said.
    Mountain Province disaster officials said resident Danny Chamlangen was injured while fleeing from his home when soil came crashing down from mountains to houses in Sitio (sub-village) Papattay Sokok in Bontoc Ili village around 3 a.m.
    The kitchen, comfort room, and living room of Chamlangen’s house were destroyed while a neighboring house owned by Lorenzo Felwa was partially damaged.
    Affected residents included Chamlangen, Felwa, Calsiman Ofo-ob and Jerry Agnapan.
    Rescuers from the Bontoc Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Bontoc police, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and village officials immediately responded to the scene.
    Twelve people fled during landslides and evacuated to Saint Vincent Elementary School but came back to their houses before noon.
    Villagers told police they heard rumbling sound as early as 1 a.m. on June 5 but they ignored it.
    A series of howling sounds, which sent dogs barking continuously, was heard at 3 a.m. few moments before the landslide occurred.
    Probers said an old pine tree fell and hit a water pipe, which apparently triggered the soil erosion.
    Food and relief kits were given to affected families, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey said in a statement.

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Beneco ups power rate amid coal price surge

By Delmar Carino

BAGUIO CITY -- The Benguet Electric Cooperative board of directors recently decided Beneco will bill member consumer owners generation cost of P4.95 per kilowatt hour (kwh) amid continuing surge of coal price in global market. 
    The board directors said the rate is temporary since it can still soar. “But we wish to negotiate such interim price with our power supplier while the terms of our power supply agreement are being reviewed and renegotiated,” said lawyer Esteban Somngi, the board’s chairperson.
    The generation cost is a pass through charge which Beneco officials explained is dependent on adjustments in the global coal prices as captured in the power supply agreement inked between the electric cooperative and Team Energy.
    The generation cost is the highest among the components of the unbundled electricity bills issued to member consumers every month.
    Beneco has billed its consumers an increase in generation cost the past few months but management has convinced Team Energy to the interim rate of P4.95 per kwh. 
    Team Energy supplies Bemeco’s power requirement from its coal powered plant  in Sual, Pangasinan. Its power supply agreement with BENECO will end in 2024. 
    Team Energy earlier wrote Beneco that it could no longer hold on to the P4.95/kwh rate since the company said it could no longer sustain the cost of generating the power it supplies to Beneco due to the surging price of coal.    
    The management, led by Melchor Licoben, general manager, asked Team Energy to stick to the interim rate P4.95/kwh as any increase in generation could will surely be burdensome to the member consumers.
    Licoben will forward to Team Energy the resolution passed by the board directors in a bid to convince the power producer to be more considerate and to allow a review of the power supply agreement.
    Licoben said the agreement became grossly disadvantageous to Beneco when coal prices surged following the pandemic. 
    The global demand for coal pushed coal prices to a high of U$359 per ton early this year, threatening to increase BENECO’s generation cost up to more than P8/kwh but management batted for a lower cost.
    The board’s decision to stand pat at P4.95/kwh is meant to protect the welfare of the consumers, Somngi said. 
    “This is the least that the board can do at this point in time as the rest of the world is grappling with the skyrocketing price of coal,” Somngi said. 

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Publishers: Relocation of newsstands bane to info despite online age

BAGUIO CITY – Publishers in this summer capital said the proposed relocation of newsstands in this summer capital would greatly decrease circulation of newspapers and deprive local folk of easier accessibility to news.
    They said Baguio residents, as in other parts of the Cordillera, over the years, particularly those in their middle ages and the elderly, relied on local newspapers to keep abreast of the times, even in this age of social media.
    It is also local newspapers where legal notices from the courts are published and stakeholders need to be informed about their cases, they said.      
    This, as Gloria Antoinette Hamada, publisher and chief operating officer of the Baguio Midland Courier, appealed to the city government to lay bare its concrete plan for the proposed relocation of newsstands in the city, especially those located in the central business district.
    During the city council’s regular session last Monday, Hamada requested a meeting with the City Planning and Development Office and the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office to discuss what the city government has in store for the newsstands. 
    She lamented the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to the newspaper vendors and local publishers, saying relocation of newsstands will further disadvantage them. 
    “The number of newspaper deliverers has gone down from almost a hundred to only less than 30. This [relocation of newsstands] will further affect not only their livelihood but also Midland which is one of the local newspapers trying to recover from this pandemic,” she said. According to her, she attempted to convince establishments to accommodate newsstands within their premises, but only a few were willing.
    In a public consultation attended by journalists, publishers, general managers of newspaper organizations, newspaper vendors, and watch repairmen in December 2020, the city government decided to allow these vending stands in the central business district to stay in their current locations from January to June 2021 while plans for their relocation had yet to be finalized.
    The city government proposed vending structures would be relocated either within the premises of establishments willing to accommodate them or in spaces that may be identified by the city government after the conduct of a survey.
    In areas where the stands may be relocated, a .6-meter setback from the sidewalk must be observed so as to keep customers from blocking or clogging the sidewalk, allowing the smooth flow of pedestrians.
    The six-month period given in December 2020 to newspaper vendors for the relocation of their vending stands was extended four times by virtue of resolutions passed by the city council.
    With the appeal for formulation of a concrete plan, the city council yet again passed another resolution requesting the executive department to extend the said period.
    The city council likewise invited the City Planning and Development Office to attend the regular session on June 20 to give an update on the proposed plan to relocate the newsstands.  – With a report from Jordan G. Habbiling

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4 Baguio SLU, UP studes, red-tagged nabbed in Tarlac

CONCEPTION, Tarlac – Police arrested two students of Saint Louis University and another two of the University of the Philippines-Baguio in a hut here Wednesday.
    A statement released by Dasig-SLU and ACS-UPB of which the students were members, said they were brought to the police station for questioning and accused by police of being armed rebels.
    The statement didn’t name the students or whether they were still detained at press time.
    Both student organizations were reportedly members of Kabataan Partylist Cordillera.
    The statement said the students were volunteers in helping farmer agrarian reform beneficiaries of Barangay Tinag of this town.     
    The students were not named in the statement.
    “Police who toted rifles surrounded the hut where the students and farmers were having a meeting, arrested, handcuffed, then brought them to the police station,” the statement said.
    “Kinukundena namin ang pandarahas at illegal na pag-aresto ng kapulisan sa mga mambubukid at volunteers ng bungkalan, at ang pambibintang nila sakanilang mga armadong rebelled (We denounce the illegal arrest of the students and farmers and their being branded as armed rebels by the police), the KPC said in the statement.

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2 dead as jeep plunges into ravine in Benguet

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Two students died while another was injured after the jeepney carrying them fell into a 10-meter ravine here in Lower Tomay Wednesday, June 8.
    Killed were Rolly Quintino, 24 and Cedric Wasit, 25.
    Their injured companion was Alzimer Anton Menes. 
    Police investigation showed the victims, residents of Barangay Palew in Tublay town, came from central business area of La Trinidad and were heading home when the accident happened.
    Police said Wasit, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle and rammed a riprap wall when they reached Lower Tomay, causing it to plunge into the ravine.
    The victims were taken to Benguet General Hospital where Quintino and Wasit were declared dead on arrival, while Menes was recuperating.

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Baguio council probes P20- M social welfare complex

By Jordan B. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- Members of the City Council probed Monday the master development plan of the proposed Social Welfare and Development Complex which will house four facilities managed by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
    The Social Welfare and Development Complex consists of the halfway home for rebel returnees, Bahay Pag-asa (formerly the Social Development Center), youth auditorium and retirement home for the elderly.
    Tabanda questioned the measurement of spaces for the halfway home for the rebel returnees and the retirement home for the elderly.
    The development plan indicates 297 square meters is set for the halfway home for rebel returnees while only 130 sq. m. for the retirement home for the elderly.
    “It would be more practical and feasible if the retirement home for seniors is bigger than the halfway home for former rebels. After all, you still don’t know how many former rebels you will cater to, whereas you have an idea how many senior citizens will benefit from the retirement home,” Tabanda said. 
    A feasibility study needs to be conducted to equitably determine the amount of spaces for each facility, she added.
    An amount of P20 million has been set for construction of the halfway home for the rebel returnees.
    Of the amount, P15 million was appropriated by the city government from its annual budget while an amount of P5 million has been provided by the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government.
    The retirement home for the elderly has starting capital of P10 million allocated by the city government from its 2022 annual budget.   
    Nestor Mestito, CSWDO representative, said construction of the halfway home for rebel returnees is on.
    He said the CSWDO will look into the possibility of re-assessing the measurements for each facility as indicated on the proposed development plan.
    Mestito said the halfway home is a dormitory-type structure which will serve as a temporary shelter for former rebels in the city and other nearby localities as they prepare to be reintegrated into the community and have a “new life” after their voluntary surrender to the government.
    Councilor Michael Lawana requested the CSWDO to provide a more detailed architectural plan of the halfway home.
    “This has a budget of P20 million. We are interested to know more about its design and amenities,” Lawana said.
    Meanwhile, Councilors Levy Lloyd Orcales and Arthur Allad-iw suggested utilizing a portion of the halfway home as a temporary shelter for vagrants in the city as part of the city government’s rehabilitation program for the homeless.
    Tabanda questioned inclusion of a youth auditorium into the proposed complex, citing a sports complex cum youth convergence center at the Athletic Bowl and a Sangguniang Kabataan center in Barangay Irisan.
    Mestito said the auditorium is existing and rehabilitated.
    The facility is being utilized for activities of young people who are clients of the CSWDO.
    Councilor Mylen Yaranon requested the CSWDO to provide the city council a list of retirees, rebel returnees, and children in conflict with the law in the city in aid of legislation. 
    The city council scheduled another forum on the matter with the City Planning and Development Office, the City Buildings and Architecture Office and the CSWDO on June 27.

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2 fixers caught getting money from applicant

By Liezle Basa Inigo

CAMP GADOR, Tuguegarao City — Two fixers who offered to help an applicant land a job in a government bureau were arrested during an entrapment operation inside a restaurant on Rizal Street, Centro 7, here on June 6.
    The suspects were identified as Isabelo Villaflor Ruiz, 61, resident of Centro 1, Tuguegarao City and Anafe Dela Peña Sumacbay, 45, online seller, and resident of Bassig Street, Ugac Norte of the said city.
    They were arrested by joint elements of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit/Provincial Intelligence Unit under the supervision of Maj. Joefferson Gannaban and Bureau of Fire Protection, Regional Office 2.
    The victim, identified only as alias Albert, said he met another applicant from whom he learned about someone who could facilitate their papers that would assure them of becoming members of the Bureau of Fire Protection Office.
    Due to the victim’s desire to enter the BFP, in the morning of June 5, Albert, together with another applicant, met Ruiz and Sumacbay at Pampangueña Restaurant on Rizal Street where they discussed the amount he (Albert) would pay to ensure that he could enter the agency.
    Allegedly, the suspects, Ruiz and Sumacbay, demanded an advance payment of P25,000 from him for processing of his papers within the BFP.
    Based on police reports, Albert told the suspects he could not afford the amount.
    The two fixers /suspects reduced their demand to P10,000.
    Albert said that what he can only afford was to give wine.    
    He claimed that he instead sent an amount of P1,550 through GCash for the purchase of wine.
   Report said the victim had the chance to verify from Provincial Director Aries Atal of BFP-Isabela if this is happening within their agency in which applicants can pay a certain amount to be able to enter the agency.
    Immediately, the provincial director contacted the Provincial Intelligence Unit for immediate action.
    An entrapment operation was set.
    Upon accepting P10,000 ‘boodle money’ from their victim alias Albert, 29, authorities arrested the suspects.
    Confiscated from the two alleged fixers were Oppo cellphone and Nokia cellphones.

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Sandiganbayan: Guilty; ex-Quirino gov gets 16 years for fertilizer scam

MANILA – A former governor of Quirino province has been sentenced to 12 to 16 years in prison in connection with the anomalous procurement of fertilizer worth P4.99 million in 2004.
    In a 20-page decision promulgated on June 3, the Sandiganbayan found former governor Pedro Bacani guilty of two counts of violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
    Bacani was sentenced to six to eight years in prison for each count and disqualified from holding public office.
    The anti-graft court ordered the charges against Bacani’s co-respondents Edilberto Apostol and Kevin Apostol, manager and representative of private supplier Akame Marketing International, respectively, to be temporarily archived as they have yet to be located.
    Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017, the charges against Bacani stemmed from the procurement by the provincial government of P4.99 million worth of fertilizer in 2004.
    The procurement was part of the implementation of the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s farm inputs and implements program.
    The ombudsman said no public bidding was conducted for the procurement, which violated RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
    The Sandiganbayan said the ombudsman presented sufficient testimonial and documentary evidence showing no public bidding was conducted before the supply contract was awarded to private firm Akame.
    The court dismissed Bacani’s defense that it was the DA that recommended the award of the contract to the company.
    “Bacani did not present any proof showing it was the DA that recommended to award the contract to Akame,” the court said.
    Aside from the lack of public bidding, the prosecution was able to prove that the fertilizer procured from Akame was overpriced by 100 percent, the Sandiganbayan said.

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Cordi peace council sets anti-marijuana top drive

P485-M drugs seized 

By Pamela T. Geminiano

BAGUIO CITY— The Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council approved anti-marijuana campaign as main program to eradicate marijuana plant cultivation and to prevent illegal drugs from reaching the region's urban areas.
    “I suggest the anti-marijuana campaign should be included in the 2022-2025 flagship program of the council so that we can focus on and develop plans and strategies to suppress the plant cultivation in potential growing areas, as well as minimize the product availability here in the region,” said Araceli San Jose, regional director of Dept. of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera and head secretariat of CRPOC during the CRPOC second quarter meeting.
    CRPOC chairman and Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong supported the proposal saying the council needs to orchestrate a permanent solution to get rid of marijuana cultivation in the Cordillera and provide solutions and livelihood to those communities that will be affected by the program.
    He lauded the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Cordillera for being relentless in its anti-illegal drug operations especially uprooting of marijuana in cultivation sites and in its drive to put a stop to the illegal drug trade.
    Based on the latest data of PDEA Cordillera, authorities seized a total of P485.36 million worth of narcotics across the region including marijuana.
    The anti-illegal drug campaign is one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration.
    Meanwhile, Tinglayan, Kalinga mayor Sacrament Gumilab thanked the CRPOC for its move to include the anti-marijuana campaign as one of its flagship programs adding,
    “I am very happy, the RPOC recognizes the need to sit together and develop a comprehensive plan to identify the root causes and formulate solutions to address the problem,” he said.
    Mayor Magalong who served as CRPOC chairperson 2019-2022 was awarded a plaque of recognition by officials and members of the CRPOC for his “genuine commitment and dedicated leadership as CRPOC chairperson which led to the attainment of the council's goals and objectives and realization of an inclusive and sustainable peace in the region.”
    In her message, RD San Jose lauded mayor Magalong for helping to reduce rape cases and incidents by 15% per quarter, for his unwavering support for the continuation of peaceful negotiations between the Butbut and Betwagan tribes, and for preventing any election-related violence and abuses order to achieve safe and peaceful election.
    She also cited Magalong’s feat in achieving 80% target of the vaccination rate of eligible population in the region.
    "His defining leadership as vice-chairperson of the Cordillera Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in the region and to ensure the goals and objectives of CRPOC are exemplary recognized," she said. – PTMG-DILG-CAR

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‘Drug dealer’ gets heart attack while arrested

BAGUIO CITY — A suspected drug dealer suffered a heart attack while being arrested at a subdivision here in Barangay San Luis June 3.
    Half-Somali Abdullah Abdul was being served a warrant for carjacking when he collapsed. He was taken to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, where he died while being treated.
    Abdul eluded arrest during pursuit operations conducted by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in June 2020.     He later surrendered.
    He was also charged with child abuse, but freed when he posted bail.
    The rape case filed against him was dismissed after his supposed victim did not pursue the case.
    Police said the suspect was a known drug dealer in this city and nearby provinces.   

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Ex-convicts yield ‘shabu’ in Dagupan City buy-bust

By Hilda Austria 

DAGUPAN CITY – Some P340,000 worth of suspected shabu was confiscated from four suspects, two of them allegedly former convicted illegal drug traders, during a sting operation outside a mall at Barangay Mayombo here on June 3.
    Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Pangasinan director Retchie Camacho identified the suspects as Roberto Maramba, Gilbert Fernandez, Eduardo Soriano, and Malaya Ganzon.
    “Based on our initial information, Maramba was released on parole from the New Bililib Prison in Muntinlupa City as well as Soriano. They were convicted of illegal drug transactions but we are still gathering more information on this,” he said in a statement.
    Maramba was the real target of the buy-bust but Fernandez was with him during the operation.
    Soriano and Ganzon delivered the suspected shabu, weighing about 50 grams, to where Maramba and Fernandez were waing, leading to the quartet’s arrest by PDEA agents who posed as buyers.
    “They are high-value targets given the amount of illegal drugs they dealt,” he said.
    Camacho said the suspects are under PDEA custody while cases are being readied for filing. -- PNA

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Wider Cordi registration for marginalized sector pushed

By Aldwin Quitasol

BAGUIO CITY — The local government here and the Philippine Statistics Authority Cordillera are set to ink a memorandum of agreement in line with project Philsys Birth Registration Assistance Project for the city.
    Local Civil Registrar Luz Perez said the program aims to increase civil registration in marginalized communities, particularly those belonging to the indigenous peoples and the poorest sector.
    The aims to enhance intensified campaign in improving civil registration aligned with the three goals of the civil registration and vital statistics decade which are universal civil registration of births, deaths and other vital events.
    It includes all individuals with legal documentation to claim identity, civil status, and ensuring rights and accurate, complete and timely vital registration produced and disseminated.
    The project also aims to register those unregistered births and other civil registry documents, especially IP and the poorest sector covering all the cities and municipalities in the province and verify from the PSA civil registry system database the existence of birth and other civil registry records to avoid double or multiple registration through omnibus registration.
    It includes implementation of the Philippine Registry Information system in the conduct of mobile registration in the city for a period of one year from the data of MoA signing and register the Phil ID of the birth registrants.
    “We are targeting to conduct the mobile registration starting this third quarter of this year. We will be in close coordination with the barangays in carrying out this project,” Perez stressed.
    She pointed out that the local government can still do better and efforts should continue to strengthen the country’s civil registration and vital statistics systems to meet the goal of universal registration by 2024 — that at least 99.5 percent of all Filipinos should have their birth registered and shall be provided with the legal documentation through the issuance of the birth certificate.

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Inventory of trees on to protect Busol watershed

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – Inventory of trees in this watershed is on here at the critical Busol watershed as basis for protection and conservation plans of the city government for its few remaining forest reserves.
    City planning and development coordinator architect Donna Tabangin said this will become a major part of the ongoing preparation of the Busol forest management plan, updating of the comprehensive land use plan and urban regreening program, all crucial to the city's thrust to revitalize the environment and stop urban decay.
    The activity started April 27 and targeted for completion June 16 with an estimated number of 5,000 trees primarily of the Benguet Pine specie identified and tagged.
    Aside from her office, Tabangin said the activity is headed by the City Environment and Parks Management Office and barangays Ambiong, Brookspoint, East Bayan Park and Pacdal which are straddled by the watershed.
    Their representatives compose the tree inventory teams augmented by personnel of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office-Baguio, Baguio Water District and Public Order and Safety Division.
    The Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources-Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center (DENR-WWRRDEC) provided assistance for the city to acquire skills on measurement standards and procedures in the conduct of inventory for standing trees based on Forest Management Bureau Technical Bulletin No. 3.
    Tabangin said for the trees' protection, the teams use water-based white latex paint on the lightly scraped surface of the tree trunks.
    The Busol forest reserve is the largest potable water source in the city making it one of the centerpoints of the city's environmental preservation programs.

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