Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back In 2012, Aliping Promised That He Will Preserve All The Trees When He Develops His Nature And Adventure Site

So, apparently Baguio City Congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr.'s project in Mt. Sto. Tomas dates back to 2012 when Aliping (then a Baguio City councilor) appeared in front of the Tuba municipal council and outlined his project which he referred to as a nature and adventure site. During the session, Aliping said "My plan there is first, to develop a nature and adventure site. Primarily, we have to preserve all the trees that are in that area." This is just a portion of the minutes of said council session that were released to the media. You can read additional details about what transpired during this session here (Inquirer) and here (Midland Courier).

I just want to make a quick detour here regarding the minutes of the meeting. Is there a way for a small blogger such as myself to acquire a copy of said "minutes"? The two reports I linked to above directly mentioned that the "minutes" were released to the media. So if there's a media person or anyone knowledgeable about my query who can tell me how I should go about in procuring a copy of said "minutes", I would be very grateful.

Anyway, this development in the Mt. Sto. Tomas issue raises a HUGE question. If the Tuba municipal council has known about this project for over two years then why did we arrive at such a tragic ending? Trees were cut and the earth excavated within a forest reserve. And these were done without the necessary permits, mind you.
A portion of the road project in Sto. Tomas. Photo by the Cordillera Conservation Trust
From these, we can come up with a few conclusions. One, the Tuba council watched the trees get cut without doing anything. Two, the Tuba council did try to do something but they were rather too late. Three, the Tuba council watched but didn't do anything because they were expecting somebody else (DENR, EMB) to stop the cutting. Pick your poison. But be informed that whichever you pick, it leaks of incompetence on the part of the Tuba council. They simply didn't flex their muscles enough.