DENR to issue tree-cutting permits for infested, dying trees in Baguio

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2019 09:12 PM

The environment department's Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau found that some of the pine trees in Baguio City are infested by bark beetles. Handout

BAGUIO - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cordillera confirmed that it is now processing tree-cutting permits for infested and dying pine trees in the city.

During his speech at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said he ordered the department’s Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau to conduct an inventory of pine trees in the city.

The bureau was also tasked to determine the cause of decay and death of the trees.

During the inventory, researchers found that some of the trees are already infested by bark beetles.

According to Engr. Ralph Pablo, the permits will allow sanitation cutting to be implemented. This will prevent the spread of pests to the surrounding pine trees that are still healthy.

“May mga larvae yan nasa bark. So, pagka hindi natin itreat yun, baka yang larvae na yan magkakaroon ng pakpak na naman. Lilipat na naman yan sa isang tree,” he explained.

(There are larvae on the bark. If we don't treat it, the larvae will grow wings and transfer to another tree.)

Pablo said the department will see to it that the cutting process is documented to make sure that the trees are indeed infested.

Dr. Zenaida Baoanan, a biology professor at the University of the Philippines in Baguio, agrees that sanitation cutting is one of the ways to save the living pine trees from early decay.

“Kasi as of now, wala pa talagang effective method to control them. Under investigation pa rin siya. So, kung immediate na yung need na ma-prevent yung infestation, then the cutting might actually be required,” she said.

(As of now, there's no effective method to control them, it's still under investigation. If the prevention of the infestation is immediately needed, then the cutting might actually be required.)

However, Baoanan suggested that a plant pathologist should first confirm the status of trees to be cut.

DENR has not yet released the results of the inventory and the number of tree-cutting permits to be issued.

For every tree-cutting permit issued, 100 trees are required to be planted in the same area.