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SM City Baguio is Fearing Eviction for Cutting 182 Trees

BAGUIO – Just last night SM City Baguio did a move that angered majority of the city’s population due to the cutting of 182 pine trees around their vicinity.

SM City Baguio¬†sits on the top of Luneta Hill in Baguio City, a portion of the hill have around 182 pine trees which is being considered protected. Yet SM City Baguio planned to cut it 2 years or so ago for expansion, though it didn’t pushed through because the city opposed it. Though on the night of January 16, 2015 up to early morning of January 17, 2015 cut down the trees while everyone is sleeping. This happened because Court of Appeals reversed the decision, where it allows SM City Baguio Management to do what they wish on the pine trees around their vicinity.


Photo credits to Baguio Community Events

With this recent move of SM City Baguio, different groups are now doing petition drive to evict the said mall from Luneta Hill then it will be restored as an Urban Forest Ecopark. If the petitioners reaches a very significant number of signature, SM City Baguio will be evicted and demolished in no time. The petitioners also shouts that the city doesn’t need that hilariously designed mall, what we need is Urban Restoration for Climate Change Resiliency, a good shout out with so much truth into it, where the 182 pine trees that the mall removed is a vital part of the city’s ecosystem which helps filter the air and maintain its quality.

Anyhow there are some rumors that gift cards are circulating around the city amounting from Php. 1,000 to Php. 5,000 with a letter into it, courtesy of SM and PO. Everyone knows that SM is the mall of Baguio, but for PO everyone is puzzled. Some says that PO is a company at stake to construct the SM City Baguio expansion but some thinks that it is someone that is very close to President Noynoy Aquino, that is believed to have backed up the reversal of the decision to allow cutting of pine trees around SM City Baguio.

The petitioners are also requesting the Local Government of Baguio to declare the judges of Court of Appeals who reversed the decision and all stakeholder of SM Development Corporation as “persona non grata” in the city. Where they are not allowed to come or live in the city. The petitioners are also requesting that SMDC and its stakeholders to pay Php. 100B per pine tree that they removed which will then be used to restore the area and be transformed into an Urban Forest Ecopark.

What happened in Baguio is really sad, and everyone who made it happen should pay the consequences.