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Cebu News

Rama: S. Osmeña Boulevard can’t be used fully unless…

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/JMO - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Mayor Michael Rama will not allow S. Osmeña Boulevard to be opened completely unless the trees at the center island are moved safely through earth balling, the fence at the Cebu Port Authority is removed properly, the street is lighted well, and limit is established for vehicles that pass the road.

The Department of Public Works and Highways-7 and private contractor WT Construction Inc. are rehabilitating the street and vehicles have not been allowed to pass S. Osmeña starting at the corner of Cabahug Street up to the bridge, which is the boundary of Cebu City and Mandaue City.

The road rehabilitation project is expected to carry on until April.

“If we don’t prepare, death is being invited. Property damage is expected,” Rama said yesterday, adding, he is happy that Councilor Nida Cabrera is supporting the earth balling of the trees.

Rama said he wants the trees to be earth balled as soon as possible despite the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7.

DENR-7 issued the CDO on DPWH-7’s earth balling activities after 79 trees along S. Osmeña Blvd. vanished last year.

“Forget about the cease and desist order, there is a nuisance per se. Which is now higher, the public welfare, general welfare or the cease and desist order? Will they pay for property damage? Will they pay for injuries? And most of all, will they handle up to burial because death is being invited in the area,” Rama argued.

Rama said that as mayor, he issued the directive as a proactive measure.

“The position of the mayor – the whole S. Osmeña should not be completely open, available from Mandaue to Fort San Pedro, unimpeded… there will be a lighted divider, and all of these will be addressed,” he said.

“I will not have that open unless the trees are out, as Cabrera would like it, because butangan og trees diha og balik, gub-on napod ang aspalto? Dili pod na magdugay ang trees kay mamatay na,” he said.

Over 20 trees are still at the center island along the stretch of S. Osmeña Blvd., according to the Cebu City Parks Administrator Arlie Gesta.

Gesta said he has sent a letter to DENR-7 on the status of the CDO, saying he will coordinate with the environmental office on the CDO before earth balling the trees.

Gesta said the city government will not earth ball the trees unless DENR-7 lifts the CDO. The trees that will be earth balled will be transferred to the Senior Citizen’s Park and Plaza Independencia, he said. — (FREEMAN)

CABAHUG STREET CEASE AND DESIST ORDER CEBU CITY AND MANDAUE CITY CEBU CITY PARKS ADMINISTRATOR ARLIE GESTA CEBU MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA CEBU PORT AUTHORITY OSME RAMA TREES
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