^

Davide asks DENR to resume cutting of trees

Michael Vencynth H. Braga, Samuelle Joyrin C. Caing (The Freeman) - August 14, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to reconsider its decision recalling the special tree-cutting permit issued to the Department of Public Works and Highways.

In a letter sent to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje dated August 12, 2014, Davide requested the agency to allow the cutting operation to continue to ensure public safety and promote general welfare.

Davide cited two incidents last month involving the century-old acacia trees, one in Barangay Balud, San Fernando and the other in Barangay Perrelos in Carcar City, on July 9 and 26, respectively.

“Thankfully, no one was hurt. There is no telling, however, how many more of these dying acacia trees will snap in the coming months. We are deeply concerned and worried. It is in this light that we ask you to please reconsider your decision recalling the tree-cutting permit,” the letter read.

Following the recall of the permit last Friday, environmentalists requested for one week moratorium to have a third-party expert ascertain the health of the trees. The governor urged to expedite the inspection of the trees.

“We have agreed to their request provided they do it the soonest time possible because the safety of the public is paramount,” Davide stressed.

Copies of the letter were also furnished to Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, DENR-7 executive director Isabelo Montejo, and DPWH-7 director Ador Canlas.

San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy also sent a separate letter to Paje questioning the agency’s decision in allowing destructive activities in the mountains while stopping the cutting of the century-old trees along the highway.

No cutting, only pruning

The third party expert has initially found that it is not necessary to cut the acacia trees. Dr. Roger Guzman, a professional forester and environmentalist, suggested curative measures and pruning of the trees. Guzman started his independent assessment of the trees yesterday together with DENR-7 officials.

“There could have been more remedies to solve the problem which do not involve cutting and cutting should be the last resort,” said Guzman.

Guzman said that although the trees have defects, they are still very healthy and have big chances to recover.

Two acacia trees which were recommended for cutting by DENR were suggested to be pruned instead. For those leaning trees, Guzman suggested to have signage that will warn big vehicles.

“Let’s look into the totality of the benefits both public and the trees will get, let’s not rush into cutting down trees as the best possible solution,” said Guzman.

Guzman was requested by Philippine Earth Justice Center to have the third party assessment following the suspension of the cutting of trees.

The final result of Guzman’s assessment will be formally presented together with DENR’s assessment in a press conference on Friday.

Guzman is the executive director of Philippine Federation for Environmental Concern and is a retired professor and dean of the College of Forestry of Isabela State University. — /FPL (FREEMAN) 

ADOR CANLAS BARANGAY BALUD BARANGAY PERRELOS CARCAR CITY CEBU GOVERNOR HILARIO DAVIDE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY OF ISABELA STATE UNIVERSITY CUTTING DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES GUZMAN TREES
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with