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Avoid cutting down trees, DPWH urged

/ 08:20 AM July 26, 2012

No effort should be spared to prevent the century-old acacia trees from being cut down along the highway leading to Naga and Carcar cities.

Provincial Board (PB) member Thadeo Ouano said this as he joined fellow PB member Sergio Restauro in lending support to former Cebu City councilor Sylvan Jakosalem’s bid to stop the cutting down of the century-old trees.

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Jakosalem told Cebu Daily News that he also asked Trade and Industry Secretary Mar Roxas to raise his concern over the century-old trees to President Benigno Aquino III.

“I ended my email (to Roxas) by asking how the president would feel if he discovered too late that under his administration, hundreds of century old and scenic acacia trees were cut down for a USELESS road project?,” Jakosalem said.

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The former councilor who chairs the Cebu City Integrated Traffic Operations Management (Citom) said Roxas assured him in a reply email that he will share his concern with the president.

Jakosalem said Restauro assured him in a phone conversation yesterday that he will elevate his concern to the board sometime soon.

The trees will be affected by an ongoing road-widening project covering Naga and Carcar cities.

Ouano, who chairs the environment committee, said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should “squeeze its technical expertise” to avoid cutting down the trees.

Jakosalem earlier recounted that his grandfather, the late Cebu governor Dionisio Jakosalem, ordered the planting of century-old acacia trees along the highway of Naga to Carcar cities to provide shade to travelers.

The road widening project that began last April and is scheduled for completion in December is sponsored by Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu’s 1st district.

Also to be affected are heritage houses lined up along the highway.

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CDN took photos of an acacia tree was found cut down and lying in a limestone pile in barangay Tinaan, Naga City over the weekend.

Local officials said they have no idea who cut down the tree.

On learning about the felled tree, Jakosalem said he and his family will sue whoever would cut down the century-old trees and will pursue all legal remedies to prevent this from happening.

Ouano supported Jakosalem’s contention, saying the trees are “both heritage and environmental landmarks.”

“Being century old and rare sites the DPWH should squeeze its technical expertise to avoid cutting it down,” he told Cebu Daily News.

The PB member said only when there’s no other option can the DPWH remove the trees.

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), trees
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