The city is naturally beautiful. Residents as well as visitors
single out the temperate climate and the intrinsic beauty of the
landscape as its major attractions.
The city's population is however growing rapidly at an annual growth
rate of 4.39 percent or an actual increment of about 7,897 individuals
a year. This puts equal pressure on residential, commercial, institutional
and infrastructure land use developments to expand proportionately.
This is compounded by the inadequate exercise and lack of effective
control on land development, thus the historic vocation of the city
-- that of a mountain resort -- continues to be jeopardized. Attendant
results of recent and ongoing developments in the city are rapid
loss of open space, destruction of the natural environment, and
scarring of the landscape. These have far-reaching effects on the
city's economy, since tourism as a basic industry depends so much
on the natural environment for its viability. Hazards to the safety
of the residents as a result of hillside developments have also
Certain basic causes can be identified, like the fast rate of population
growth, the lack of consideration on the importance of site solution
and design for residential developments, the general lack of understanding
on vegetation, soil terrain, rocks, drainage channels and streams
as natural resource with varying ecological, aesthetic conservation,
and safety implications for urban developments, faulty land-use
prescriptions and land utilization, and the outmost attempt to contain
and control urban development.
Deficiencies in existing land use controls are also contributory
in no small way to the haphazard development of the city. Mention
has to be made of the lack and inadequacy of legal advises, regulatory
measures and development controls to preserve and enhance the scenic
beauty of the area at the same time ensuring public safety and maximizing
environmental quality. The timid exercise and enforcement of whatever
existing environmental controls there are should also be noted.
Appropriate land use controls and their enforcement are thus essential
in preserving and enhancing the environmental quality of the area,
boosting tourism in the city, and ensuring public safety.
Environmental quality in the city is confronted with the problems
on squatting on watersheds. Denudation of forests and de-vegetation
due to illegal cutting of trees, improper gardening/kaingin and
forest fires are among other problems that affect the city's environment.
These continue to threaten the quantity and quality of our water.
There is no widespread sewerage system. Current methods, mostly
individual systems, cause ground water contamination, stream an
creek pollution, and public health problems.
While garbage collection and removal of solid wastes are generally
good, there are areas in the city where there are little or no services
available. The use of open dumping and burning as a means of waste
disposal pose hazards upon nearby residents due to odor and smoke.
Leachate produced by decomposing garbage is also polluting the water
sources of low lying communities in its vicinity.