Solar project proponents face raps for cutting trees
Kristine B. Quintas/JMO (The Freeman) - November 16, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) yesterday failed to file a formal complaint against several corporate entities of a solar project in Toledo City for allegedly cutting about 1000 trees without permit.

This after the city prosecutor reportedly refused to receive the complaint because it lacked the oath of CENRO's lawyer over the case.

 "Officially, wala dawata kay gusto sa fiscal naa ang lawyer. Ugma (today) kuyog among lawyer aron mo take oath pud sila before the fiscal," CENRO chief Forester Raul Pasoc said.

 Pasoc said they will file the case today together with their lawyers before the Toledo City Prosecutor's Office.

 Pasoc said a formal complaint would be filed after CENRO found out that the corporate entities failed to secure a DENR permit prior to having the trees cut, which violated Section 77 of Presidential Decree 705 as amended by the Republic Act 7161 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

 The subjects of the complaint are First Toledo Solar Energy Corp, Sta. Clara International Corporation, Sun Asia Energy Inc. and its board of directors and key officials, and Gino Baltao, owner of the land.

 CENRO said they allowed 982 different species of trees cut without permit and documents from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CENRO.

The total volume of trees cut is approximately 2,190 cubic meters or equivalent to 928,560 board feet with an estimated cost of P18.5 million.

 The alleged illegal cutting of trees happened in Barangay Talavera where SAEI is developing a 113-hectare of land into a solar project site.

 Pasoc said it was clearly stipulated in the environmental compliance certificate issued to First Solar Energy Corp. that cutting of trees is not allowed without the required tree-cutting permit.

He clarified that ECC does not allow the cutting of trees, as it only stipulates conditions to be undertaken before the actual cutting of trees and project implementation.  (FREEMAN)

 

BARANGAY TALAVERA CLARA INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES FIRST SOLAR ENERGY CORP FIRST TOLEDO SOLAR ENERGY CORP FORESTER RAUL PASOC GINO BALTAO NBSP PASOC TREES
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