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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fighting for a forest park

Hundreds of rallyists led by UP Baguio Chancellor Priscilla Supnet-Macansantos and Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon ringed the one-hectare forest park at the Baguio Convention Center area this afternoon to dramatize their resolve to protect one of the city's remaining pine stands from commercialization.


It is recalled that last May, SM Prime Holdings, the country's undisputed "largest mall operator," bared to the city government its plan to erect a condominium complex in the said lot,  intending to shave off more than 300 pine trees in the process.  Five years ago, SM generated protests from alarmed citizens when it reportedly cut down more than a hundred pine trees at the former Luneta Hill to pave the way for the rise of the mall that now commands upper Session Road.


After forming the "human barricade," the throng decided to make a "Jericho march"  around SM Baguio  via  Governor Pack Road but were blocked by a team of SWAT policemen at the traffic circle just below  SM's first guardhouse.  Failing to negotiate for an unscheduled pass around the commercial complex, the protesters  -- many of whom were drenched by the light rain that accompanied them -- eventually dispersed.


Back at UP Baguio, Chancellor Macansantos delivered her final speech for the day in which she noted that even though the march was halted, the message against the condotel plan was at least clearly made especially that the activity was adequately covered by local media.


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Posters courtesy of Junley Lazaga




4 comments:

seyruh said...

Had I known about this march, i would've been there. an aerial view of Baguio is almost the same as Manila already! its such a pity.. Baguio is no longer beautiful. Not when I look at the numerous jeepneys traversing the streets and the black smoke coming out of cars.

truth is, that forest is no longer a site to behold, especially when its raining hard. it is usually flooded causing the rise of water in the street in front of UP. But it could've been improved so that students can actually use it for studying, playing games, whatever.

scott saboy said...

Hi there, Chancellor Macansantos told us that we might march again soon. Will keep you posted. A pity indeed, and what is more alarming is that regionwide we are losing our forest cover fast. Harley Palangchao reports in this week's issue of the Baguio Midland Courier that from 2005-2008 we lost 950 hectares to logging, forest fires and land conversion agricultural purposes." In the same report, Harley itemized each province's annual forest land loss as follows: Mountain Province - 30.37 has.; Kalinga - 12.39 has.; Ifugao - 4.55 has.; Apayao 3.76 has.; Abra .71 has. Annual average for the whole region: 317.78 has.

Jose Capco said...

Hello,

I came to this site by google search..
I know this is not related to this blog.. but I am trying to find a way to contact Chancellor Macansantos. I cannot find her email or contact number anywhere. I need to ask whether I can give a mathematical talk in UP Baguio. I am a Filipino PhD math candidate doing my math in Austria and Germany and I want to use the Balikbayan scientist program to transmit my knowledge to students/prof in Baguio. If anyone knows Ms. Macansantos contact (email or whatever way I could contact her) or could refer me to someone whom I can ask.. pls send me the information. My email : jcapco _at_ yahoo _dot_ com

(The above is written to avoid bot-spammers.. to email please change _at_ to @ and _dot_ to . )

Thank you!

Jose

scott saboy said...

Hi,

Prof. Grace Subido suggests that you get in touch with the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) through Prof. Vicky Costina (victoriacosti@yahoo.com; 074-444-8719- see http://www.up.edu.ph/~oarmain/officials.html). related website:http://bsp.dost.gov.ph/ .

All the best to your career... Thanks for visiting! :)