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Online petition seeks to stop Naga tree-cutting

/ 07:23 AM October 12, 2013

AN online petition protesting the planned tree cutting in Naga City has drawn 997 supporters since it was launched Oct. 9 by tour guide and heritage advocate Balbino “Ka Bino” Guerrero.

He said the century-old trees are part of Cebu’s history.

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Guerero said that the traffic problem in south Cebu cannot be solved by cutting the trees and widening the road.

“We all know how important trees are. These trees were planted a century ago and became mute witnesses to our history and in effect became our heritage. We owe it to the future to preserve these trees,” Guerrero said.

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The on-line petition will be sent to Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje seeking to revoke the tree-cutting permit issued by Paje.

There are 23 century-old trees that are part of 153 trees affected by the road widening of the project’s last section.

The environment department said 16 aged trees have to preserved but seven of them were already decaying and have to be cut down for safety reasons before they topple on passers by or motorists.

“Who will be responsible if those Acacia trees will fall down?” asked DENR public information officer Eddie Llamedo in an interview.

He said the DPWH has to conduct a study first of the ecological value of the affected trees.

“The older the trees, the lower the carbon absorption. The younger the trees, the higher their carbon absorption,” he explained.

The DENR issued a permit allowing 42 mostly fruit trees to be cut down and 96 to be earth-balled or uprooted and transferred to another location.

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Initially, Guerrero aimed to gather 500 signatures but when the limit was reached, he adjusted the target to 1,000. Before the day ended, it gathered 997 petitioners.

One of the petitioners Didit Fernandez said “progress is good but sometimes there has to be a balance between progress and mother nature’s gift. Why throw them away?”

Marl Adalid of Toledo City said he doesn’t want government to cut down the acacia trees that form a shady canopy for motorists.

“Even though I am from Toledo City, I still want to see this beautiful view when (I go) to Badian town where I was born. It is also very important for us people to preserve our environment with such beauty like this,” Adalid said.

Jessmari Garcia said the trees were part of Carcar’s natural heritage.

“Is this the best thing that the DPWH could do? Cutting trees to spare wider roads for furious mini bus drivers racing with each other resulting to the increase of road accidents? What is Carcar without these trees?” Garcia said.

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TAGS: cutting of trees, Naga City, online petition, protesting
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