21 May 2021 – Avid environmentalists Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Councilor Joel Alangsab deliver their messages on biological diversity during the launching of the first Saleng festival, on Monday May 24 at the city hall grounds.

This is a prelude to all activities prepared for said festival and June as environment month, with a calendar in consonance to the Urban Forest Management Plan to be presented through the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO). Tree planting schedules are part of the calendar of activities, it was known.

Online activities are finalized, including technological solution competition for environmental problems, song-writing, and poster/slogan making. 

A memorandum of agreement shall also be signed between the city and the Watershed and Water Resource Research Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC), to combat desertification and drought as with the Botanical garden arboretum opening, both in June.   

An activity “Restoring Our Ecosystem Together” at the Irisan Ecopark area, being the city’s former garbage repository, is being arranged.

A live tree cart parade takes place on June 24 along Session road, with the mounted saplings to displayed later at the people’s park.   

Art installation, incubator projects, free smoke-emission testing along city roads by the Waste water, Air ambiance Management Division (WWAMD) in coordination with the Baguio City Police Office are also being planned.     

The celebration of Urban tree festival started in London in May 2018 which involved community health initiatives, tree planting and nurturing. On its fourth year now, and in pandemic times; virtual walks, self-guided travels, video-making, writing, and online participatory events have taken the place of forest bathing, walks, workshops, talks, planting advices and tree hugging.

Biological diversity on the other hand includes variability within species, between the species and the ecosystem; it is also a complex relationship among living things, and between living and their environment. The diversity includes living things’ value: as basic needs for human existence; food, fuel, shelter and medicine.      

A presentation as to the AIDS watch council shall be done by Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Celia Brillantes.    

The mayor has always been a staunch defender of the environment with programs on anti-tree cutting, anti-water, air, land pollution and others, and in line with the environmental thrust of his 15-point agenda.

Councilor Alangsab is committee chair on Health, Sanitation, Ecology, and Environment while Councilor Sembrano handles the committee on tourism, parks and playgrounds, and special events. –juliegfianza