AT the recent Bulong Pulungan at Sofitel, the special guests included SM Supermalls’ Bien Mateo, Annie Garcia and Millie Dizon, who aired how their company’s desire to build a parking lot for their shoppers resulted in their earth-balling 182 pine and alnus trees to be replanted in another area within the vicinity.
The move outraged environmentalists, activists and other concerned citizens, who thought that SM was “killing” trees. In fact, the company has begun planting pine trees in Baguio as part of a program that aims to plant 50,000 trees in three years’ time. They said that they had a permit from the DENR to ball those trees.
But a group led by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino asked the government to revoke the permit given to SM Baguio. As a result, the Baguio City Regional Trial Court issued a temporary restraining order for environmental protection, which states that no trees can be cut further by SM.
Despite the TRO, Mateo and company insisted that their company did not violate any law or code of ethics.
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