Summer time is just a few months time and for many Filipinos, especially those living in Metro Manila, one of the best place to spend the season is either by the beach or going North enroute to top favorite vacation destination Baguio City.
However, did you know that despite its elevated location, Baguio is susceptible to floods. In 2012, tropical storm Helen left the city submerged, and in 2013, typhoon Labuyo mirrored the devastation brought by its predecessor. With the many “surprises” the weather has brought to our country in recent years, floods in the summer capital of the Philippines can happen anytime.
For the sake of preservation the tourist destination that is Baguio, the government and the private sector should work hand-in-hand in solving this problem. One of the ways floodwater can be reduced is through the use of rainwater catchment tanks. Apart from lessening the enormous amount of water that can flood households and businesses, there are many uses for stored water, such as irrigation, watering of plants, and other non-potable uses.
The authorities can take the proposed solution presented by SM Baguio City. The mall plans to build a rainwater catchment tank to capture rainwater. After being treated by a sewage treatment plant, the rainwater will be reused by the mall in its operation, instead of sourcing its requirements from the local water district. This process is already being used with success in SM Masinag in Antipolo and SM BF in Parañaque.
To signify its intention of achieving a concrete solution to this issue, SM Baguio has planted and maintains 50,000 trees in their Luneta Hill property two year. A private contractor was hired to take care of the said trees and other trees planted for at least three years or until these trees are mature enough to grow on their own in their natural environment.
The project, which began in 2009, will plant more trees all over the province in partnership with the Baguio Regreening Movement and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It was reported that SM Baguio’s effort has already surpassed the required 30,000 seedlings imposed on them by the DENR. Some 20,000 trees have also been planted in the Philippine Military Academy while some 10,000 seedlings were donated for the National Greening Program of Benguet.
Other initiatives that the management of the mall are promoting includes taking care of forest reservations apart from the Busol watershed and active participation in various community projects.