BAGUIO City has begun work on a concerted effort to plant some 10,000 trees in the coming three months as part of its regreening program and as part of the celebration of the Saleng Festival, originally launched in May but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Rhenan Diwas, head of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) in the interim of the delay, the city managed to acquire the seedlings to be planted during the festival’s conduct starting in June until September.
The event is in compliance with the Baguio Environment Code that mandates the city to conduct regular tree-planting activities during the planting season.
“The Tree Festival is primarily focused on local residents and the community as a whole. It is aimed at educating and encouraging them to get involved with the city’s urban forest management program,” Diwas said.
It coincides with the celebration of Arbor Day, celebrated with tree planting every June 25.
“The essence of celebrating the Tree Festival Season is for us to participate in the re-greening of our city; thus, we call individuals, families, groups, organizations, and others to join us in our tree planting activities,” Diwas said.
The city is also considering making the festival a recurring event in the city’s calendar to further encourage urban forest management.
“We are hoping to institutionalize the festival upon the request of various sectors, agencies, and non-government organizations who would like to conduct tree planting activities,” Diwas said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Cordillera (DENR-CAR) is also distributing tree seedlings to the various barangays in the region with free space for planting, as well as to interested individuals.
According to DENR-CAR assistant executive director for technical services Benjamin Ventura, the region has planted 122,618 hectares of trees region-wide in the past decade.