In Samar, major road project to spare trees in protected area | Inquirer News

In Samar, major road project to spare trees in protected area

/ 05:04 AM June 21, 2024

In Samar, major road project to spare trees in protected area

WINDING ROAD The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) is improving an old logging road instead of constructing a new highway for its 68.62-kilometer Maydolong (Eastern
Samar)-Basey (Samar) road project to spare old-growth trees within the Samar Island Natural Park, a protected area. Shown here is a section of the road project in Maydolong, Eastern

TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Eastern Visayas has agreed to a redesign of a major road project connecting the provinces of Eastern Samar and Samar to save a significant portion of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP), a protected area.

Instead of cutting down old and indigenous trees within the SINP for the proposed road project, the DPWH decided to develop instead an old road, also located within the park, that was constructed by a logging company operating in the area during the 1970s and early 1980s.


READ: Large scale reforestation ‘Green Samar project’ launched in PH 


The decision was reached after a consultative meeting with local officials and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), initiated by Rep. Marcelino Libanan of the 4Ps party list group on June 18.

Libanan, the House minority floor leader, said the P3.3-billion project would not only cut travel time between Samar and Leyte islands but would also help preserve the environment, as it would be a “model of engineering work and design because we are in a virgin forest beside a national highway.”

Heritage site

The project involves constructing the Maydolong (Eastern Samar)-Basey (Samar) road that spans 68.62 kilometers. Once completed, the road will reduce the travel time from Borongan City in Eastern Samar to Tacloban City in Leyte from four to two hours.

However, the project will need to pass through Marabut town in Samar, which is part of the SINP.

The SINP is a protected area of over 300,000 hectares that was submitted for consideration as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage site in 2018.

The area is the largest contiguous tract of old-growth forest in the Philippines and the country’s largest terrestrial protected area, covering parts of the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.


“The project will enter the SINP, which is very crucial not just for Samar but for the world as a heritage site,” said Lormelyn Claudio, DENR executive regional director.

Libanan said using the old road, which is now covered with vegetation, will minimize tree cutting compared to creating a new road.

“While some trees will still need to be cut, it will be minimal if we use the old logging road,” he said.

The Maydolong-Basey road covers 40.55 kilometers within the SINP, while the old road is more than 34 km.

According to Libanan, travelers using this proposed road project will be able to see the famous Sohoton Caves and waterfalls in the Basey, Samar area, as well as beaches and old-growth trees in Maydolong, Eastern Samar.

“It will be grandiose,” he said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The project, set for completion in 2025, broke ground in July last year and had a project accomplishment of 24.60 percent as of May 31 of this year.

TAGS: protected areas, Samar

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.