More trees face cutting for road-widening plan

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS paint the word “Help” on trees that are to be cut for a road-widening project in the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat in Pampanga. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

MABALACAT CITY—Environmentalists on Thursday resumed painting human figures and the word “Help” on trees due to be cut by the Department of Public Works and Highways to expand the Manila North Road (MNR) in the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat in Pampanga.

The 486 trees along the MNR in these cities had been marked with “X” and are set to be cut, with permits issued by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., a DPWH report showed. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources referred the tree-cutting plan to the Office of the President.

“The ‘X’ mark is therefore a death sentence. We’ve painted these with human figures to remind authorities that people stand to suffer the effects of killing trees,” said Cecile Yumul, spokesperson of the Save the Trees Coalition.

The trees are more than 50 years old and stand along the old MacArthur Highway from Pulung Bulu in Angeles City to Dolores in  Mabalacat. Motorists joined the protest by honking their horns.

Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales said they did not endorse the cutting of trees because they proposed the use of outer lanes as service road for motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles.

Antonio Molano, DPWH Central Luzon director, said the trees have to be cut “because many people have died due to falling branches.” He could not cite data on accidents and fatalities caused by trees, though.

The DPWH did not report the number of trees it cut for the MNR widening in the Paniqui to Moncada section (worth P147.2 million), Tarlac City to Gerona section (P324.8 million) and Bamban to Capas section (P231.2 million), all in Tarlac, since 2011.

In the Pampanga capital of San Fernando, the DPWH cut 34 trees in 2010 and more than 100 trees in 2009 for road widening.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson ordered that trees along Barangay Telabastagan in San Fernando be spared.

Officials of the St. Scholastica’s Academy protested the cutting, saying trees are buffers for schools along the highway.

Yumul urged government officials to “look at trees not as obstacles.”

Citing estimates by the Colorado Trees Coalition, she said a 50-year-old tree generates P1.2 million worth of oxygen, provides P2.5 million worth of air pollution control, recycles P1.5 million worth of water and stops the erosion of P1.2 million worth of soil. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://enria.org/ scconcern

    Cutting trees for the benefit of majority is fine, unless it is replaced minimum 3x the number, along or same area the trees are cut.

    • willylansangan

      no need to cut the trees try mothballing them and transfer them to another place like the city hall in angeles,mabalacat and csf

      • willylansangan

        get the funds for mothballing from the porkbarrel of lazatin,gonzales,gloria and the rest of pampanga’s representative’s

      • http://enria.org/ scconcern

        No matter what we do, there will always be cutting of trees, as long it is manage  right and done wisely…okey after cutting the trees along the proposed road widenning, with act on your idea, also plant trees around you house, too.

      • willylansangan

        yes,my friend i’ve a lot of fruit bearing trees in my back yard and lot of mangoes too in my farm coz ‘i love the environment.

      • http://enria.org/ scconcern

        Good we are almost on the same track, but I cut trees I find nausance or offsite. I have applied management in my land, called agro-forrest, I learned in North America…. The fruit beraring trees are surrounded by hardwoods as wind breaker and fence. the land suited for fruits are planted with hardwoods.
        Congrats and Good Luck to your fruits.

  • joboni96

    ganyan kakitid ang utak
    ng mga taga dpwh region 3

    more creativity boys

    expand beyond the trees
    for slower traffic – jeepneys, tricycles, bikes etc
    safer from fast big vehicles

    di ka pa gumastos sa divider
    bawas nga lang cutkong

    sayang yang mahalinang lugar na iyan

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5WY4RQL6HQWTIH6UZNYJKL4QKE Virgo

    di lang po dyan sa pampanga marami din po mga kahoy dito sa bandang ft bonifacio na idedevelop ng mega world sana mapagtuunan ng pansin un lalo na mga fruit bearing trees…..

  • Loggnat

    ‘ Antonio Molano, DPWH Central Luzon director, said the trees have to be cut “because many people have died due to falling branches.” He could not cite data on accidents and fatalities caused by trees, though.’ /// He probably never heard of this thing called ‘tree trimming’ which is done regularly before any branches becomes a safety threat to the public. The trees are also trimmed every 2 to 3 years to prevent them from being uprooted during storms and typhoon and it also minimizes damage to power lines and poles. It also creates a tree maintenance and trimming industry that will create some jobs for the people. Road engineers should try to design new roads around and/or parallel those old and iconic tree lined roads to conserve and preserve them for future generation to enjoy.

  • Senippilihp

    not

  • ah_ok_fine12

    too bad- i hope magawan pa ng paaran.. bahain na ang pampanga, baka maging dagat na lang kayo pag naubos na mga kahoy

  • http://twitter.com/CasesKarlo karlo cases arellano

    i hope theyre going to mothball the trees andplace them somewhere important.. like creek and river banks or parks and open grounds..

    Trees are the lungsof the city pa naman…

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