Government authorities and oppositors from the public sector have recently inspected the redevelopment project of SM City Baguio to see the truth behind allegations of massive tree-cutting to pave way for the expansion of the mall..
SM Supermalls Vice President Bien Mateo said the redevelopment project was conceived in 2010 following the discovery of soil erosion on the terrain at the back of the mall. He said their main concern is to ensure the stability of the structure and its surroundings following an international practice on other steeply sloping terrain like Switzerland and Hong Kong.
Mateo added that following the directive of the DENR, the mall management did not cut a single tree but instead earth-balled about 40 Alnus and one pine tree that were already re-planted within the area covered by SM City Baguio.
The inspection team included representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Baguio City Hall personnel and forestry experts.