Expert critiques SM expansion plans

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ANOTHER expert condemned the planned SM expansion as the Project Save 182 continues its fight to save the endangered 133 trees to be uprooted once the expansion plan is approved.

“To me, that’s [SM expansion] going down the wrong path because if we talk about the carrying capacity of the site, it’s really beyond that already,” said Mary Anne Alabanza Akers. “I think, it’s [expansion] really [the] wrong direction because it will destroy the environment, the ambiance, and the nature of the site.”

Akers is currently the dean of the School of Architecture and Planning of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, United State of America. She is a sociologist and an urban planner by profession.


Akers challenged the political leaders to have the will to legislate measures to protect the endangered trees and the environment on the plan of SM to put up an extension.

“Meeting the balance is a very difficult task but it could be met through the joint efforts of local officials and the stakeholders for sustainable environment,” she said.

On the early quarter of 2012, the plan of SM to expand was revealed where it gained various reactions from the different sectors after a few months.

Despite the Aquino administration’s Executive Order 23 or the indefinite log ban, SM was issued a tree cutting and earth-balling permits for its expansion.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje granted permission to SM Baguio in 2012 to cut 182 trees within the mall’s property fronting Governor Pack Road.

This gave a go signal for the mall’s expansion which will include a centralized parking space.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 09, 2013.

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