EDITORIAL — Balancing between development and environment

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � Balancing between development and environment

People in Poro, Camotes, recently raised a ruckus after they found out some 700 trees in five barangays were set to be cut down.

The Sto. Niño Parish of Poro, headed by parish priest Fr. Joel Bonza, launched an online petition, hoping to convince the government to reconsider its plan to cut down the decades-old trees to make way for a highway project traversing Barangays Mercedes, Daan Paz, Esperanza, Adela, and San Jose in Poro, up to the boundary of neighboring Tudela Town.

It seems their voices will be heard as Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she is willing to talk with them over this development.

“I am willing to call them and we will listen to them,” the governor said.

Admittedly, we are not privy to all details of this project so we don’t really know how necessary the cutting down of those trees is to the highway project. However must do everything we can to save trees and green spaces.

Many of the places we are trying to emulate like Singapore and Melbourne actually have many green and open spaces. They also consider the environment and try to save trees as much as possible. Advanced nations realize that development isn’t just about constructing numerous high-rise buildings or spreading a concrete jungle endlessly; it is also about having green spaces.

In this country the environment always seems to take a backset to development. Too many times we have had planners who didn’t think that a forest they leveled was holding back a mountain, or that car park they laid down would raise temperatures within a certain area in a city, that a high-rise building community would contribute to low water pressure in a sitio, or that a tourist attraction would end up polluting part of a coastline.

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t for holding back development or infra projects. It’s just that if there is a way to build that highway without cutting down those trees then that way must be found.

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