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Bus, mini-bus operators want trees cut down

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - September 3, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Owners of buses and mini-buses in Cebu are asking the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 to proceed with the cutting of trees along the highway in the cities of Naga and Carcar, saying the trees are a risk to the riding public and to their units.

Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association and Cebu South Mini-Bus Operators Association spokesperson Julieto Flores said they came up with a resolution requesting DENR to proceed with the cutting.

“Mas importante ang kinabuhi sa riding public, mao na nga gusto namo nga ipadayon gyud ang pagpamutol sa mga kahoy nga nahabilin (The lives of the people are more important than that of the trees, which is why we want the remaining trees be cut down also,” said Flores.

The Department of Public Works and Highways-7 has cut four acacia trees along the road before DENR canceled the cutting permit, sparing the remaining trees.

“Kinsa man gud ang di anugonan nga mamutol ta og kahoy? Pero unsa man, ato-a nang ibaylo ang kinabuhi sa publiko para lang sa pipila ka mga kahoy? Pwede man ta mananom og bag-ong mga kahoy sa lugar nga dili risgo sa kadaghanan (Who does not feel sorry over the loss of the trees? But should we exchange the lives of people to that of a few trees, when we can still plant trees in areas where lives are not endangered?” Flores said.

Last July 26, for example, a nine-hour traffic occurred in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar and in Barangay Balud, San Fernando, when two century-old and diseased acacia trees fell down.

“Asa man mi maningil, sa mga ‘environmentalists ‘nga wa gani kalibotan sa sitwasyon? Moari lang na sila sa Cebu for publicity sake. Our concern, ang mga sumasakay gyud (Should we blame those ‘environmentalists,’ who do not even have any idea about the real situation?  They just come to Cebu for publicity.  Our concern, on the other hand, is the safety of the public),” Flores said.

Running priest Robert Reyes recently led protest actions for DENR-7 to stop the cutting of trees.

Last August 8, DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje issued a directive to DENR-7 Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo recalling the special tree cutting permit  issued to the DPWH-7.

Paje’s directive likewise denied DPWH’s requests on the cutting and removal of trees of the road project’s second segment from San Fernando to Carcar.—(FREEMAN)

BARANGAY BALUD BARANGAY PERRELOS CARCAR CEBU CEBU PROVINCIAL BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION AND CEBU SOUTH MINI-BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS JULIETO FLORES SAN FERNANDO TREES
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