Condominium developer Vista Residences, Incorporated defended Monday its tree-cutting operation in Baguio, saying it was granted a special private land timber permit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
In a statement, Vista Residences said the company is also turning over 10,800 Benguet Pine seedlings to local DENR units in replacement of the 54 pine trees that will be cut down.
"In support of the National Greening Program, we turned over 5,400 seedlings of Benguet Pine to the local units of DENR. Further, as resolved in a meeting with Mayor Benjamin Magalong on 25 June 2020, we agreed to turn over an additional 5,400 seedlings," it said.
"To reiterate, the cutting of the pine trees is covered by a permit duly issued by the DENR and was undertaken in full compliance with all relevant rules and regulations."
Bishop Victor Bendico of the Diocese of Baguio earlier criticized the cutting of the pine trees to give way for the construction of a new residential condominium on Barangay Outlook Drive.
"The Diocese of Baguio strongly opposes and considers as unacceptable the continuing mass killing of full grown and healthy trees," Benedicto said in a statement.