‘They kick us out and now they will kill the trees,’ PIA Cordillera staff laments

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The PIA Cordillera office (photo by Aldwin Quitasol, InterAksyon)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — A member of the staff of the Philippine Information Agency office in the Cordillera could not hide his disappointment on learning that trees they had planted in 2011 are to be cut down on the request of the Baguio Mansion House, which is under the Office of the President.

“They kick us out and now they will kill the trees we planted. So sad,” Joseph Zambrano said.

It will be recalled that the PIA Cordillera has been asked to leave its office in a building fronting the Mansion House, the presidential residence in Baguio, because it will be converted into a staff house for the Office of the Executive Secretary,

“The trees they want to cut were planted by the PIA Cordillera under the National Greening Program of the Cordillera,” Zambrano said, describing the plan to cut down the trees as a double blow to them.

The City Environmental and Natural Resources Office said the request to fell the Caliandra trees, from seedlings and saplings it provided the PIA, was made by engineer Carlota Pauly of the Mansion House staff.

They are supposedly to be replaced with Benguet pines.

In July, the PIA Cordillera received a letter from Malacañang informing them that a property inventory team from the Office of the President found the building housing their office dilapidated and in need of major renovation.

However, they were later informed it would be converted into a cottage for the Executive Secretary.