Council to DENR: Will trees be cut for Ciudad project?Cebu Daily News
THE Cebu City Council is asking the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into reports that several trees will be cut down to give way to the Ciudad project in Banilad.
Councilor Nida Cabrera also asked her colleagues to “investigate” this report.
The council passed the resolution that Cabrera authored in last Wednesday’s session asking DENR to address concerns on the “massive” cutting of trees and the lack of a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of the Cuidad project site.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said DENR should furnish the council with an inventory of trees planted at the Cuidad project site and its exact location.
Young said he received reports that about 90% of the 700 trees that grow on the Capitol-owned lot would have to be cut down to accommodate the Cuidad project of the Fifth Avenue Development Corp.
These trees, he said, were already there even when he was still in high school.
But Jonji Gonzales, spokesperson of Fifth Ave. denied that they will be removing old trees. Instead, the trees, like the Balete and Mahogany, will be preserved as these add aesthetic value to the Old Cebu concept of the project.
Gonzales also explained that some of the young trees may have to be cut down or earth-balled to another location like what was done in Plaza Independencia during its rehabilitation.
Young said he also receive reports that DENR was being “pressured” to issue permit to Fifth Avenue.
The vice mayor said he is surprised that Mayor Michael Rama and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia support the project when they have both publicly expressed concern for the environment.
But Rama said that contrary to Young’s apprehensions, there are ways to preserve these trees
After the approval of Cabrera’s resolution, Councilor Margot Osmena moved for the passage of a corollary motion to remind Rama of his pro-environment advocacy.
Rama had said in the past that his administration would focus on environmental campaigns to make sure that they address garbage problems and help cushion the impact of global warming and climate change.
The mayor even asked the Association of Barangay Councils during their Feb. 18 assembly to support his environmental campaigns.
During his regular press conference yesterday, he said that the council should not use their arguments to prevent development in the city which would result to employment generation and economic growth.
“We cannot stop development because of the plants,” he said.
The mayor said that DENR knows of ways to make sure that the trees at the Cuidad development site would not be cut down./Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac
Tags: Environmental Issues