THE city council’s attempt at institutionalizing a moratorium on tree-cutting in Baguio City is making its way through the legislative process.

An ordinance for said moratorium, authored by councilors Levy Orcales, Arthur Allad-Iw, and Joel Alangsab has been approved on second reading by the city council.

The Moratorium on Tree-Cutting in the City of Baguio 2020 ordinance is intended to slow down the degradation of the city’s environment, which studies have indicated is ailing.

Under the ordinance, the city would issue a five-year long moratorium on the cutting of any trees in the city without regard to methods.

The moratorium, if needed, can be extended upon legislative action of the city council.

Exemptions are only allowed under the ordinance for trees that are already completely dead and trees that pose a danger to the lives of individuals, property, or the local community.

The ordinance prescribes a P5,000 fine, confiscation of lumber and tree-cutting tools, and an imprisonment term of no more than one year for each violation of the moratorium should it be implemented in full.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the city has some 2.5 million trees remaining in its territory and jurisdiction, including the half million Benguet pines at Camp John Hay, Forbes Park and Fort del Pilar of the Philippine Military Academy.