(MAY 23) – The University of the Philippines appreciates the public’s vigilance and concern of its campus’ welfare and environmental integrity as expressed in a recent online petition that refers to an acacia tree along Kalaw Street that had been destroyed. This was then expanded to allegations that UP intends to cut down more trees on Jacinto Street, close to the College of Fine Arts, to make way for a Food Park.
First, to clarify the Kalaw Street acacia. This happened as part of a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) road-widening project, which has included many of the streets in UP Diliman.
The President has formally protested to DPWH about the mishap, and our taking action against the contractor is also being seriously considered.
In relation to acacia trees allegedly being cut down to make way for a Food Park. We want to firmly reiterate that no acacia tree or any tree for that matter, will be cut with the coming construction of a food park along Jacinto Street at UP Diliman.
The UP community recognizes the acacia trees are part of our campus history. Thus the UP administration made sure, in the plans for the construction of the park, that the trees would be preserved. President Danilo L. Concepcion in his site inspection last December made sure that the food park would be built at the vacant parts of the area far from the acacia trees. These trees are recognized not just as heritage but as part of the landscape of an existing College of Fine Arts building nearby where students produce some of their finest artwork.
To reiterate, the UP administration assures the public that there is no truth to allegations that the acacia trees will be cut to give way to a Food Park, or that there are other plans for tree-cutting as part of development projects on campus, as some netizens are suggesting on social media.
UP Diliman is currently in a building frenzy for long needed renovations of older buildings, an approach we prefer over demolition and rebuilding, as well as the construction of new ones to meet the growing needs of our academic institutions. We invite the organizations that initiated this petition to meet with us for an update on the ongoing infrastructure projects, our move toward Green Architecture, and our commitment to maintaining environmental integrity. – Office of the President, photo courtesy of manila-photos.blogspot.com