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3 village chiefs OK tree cutting in Cebu city

/ 09:26 PM October 14, 2013

STUDENTS tie a yellow ribbon around one of the century-old acacia trees of Barangay Perrelos in Carcar City, Cebu, during their “heritage caravan” held last week. LITO TECSON/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY—Three villages in Naga City, Cebu, have no objections to the cutting and earth-balling of trees to give way to a road widening project, said Isabelo R. Montejo, regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas.

The barangay councils of Tinaan, Inoburan and Langtad approved Resolution No. 26, series of 2013; Resolution No. 25 series of 2013; and Resolution No. 11, series of 2013, all dated Oct. 2, respectively, interposing no objection to the tree cutting and earth-balling of trees that may be affected by a road widening project in Naga-Carcar section.

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Also, the three barangay captains, namely Zosimo Panilag of Tinaan, Rodolfo Tomada Sr. of Inoburan and Fortunato Abangan of Langtad, issued certifications that they have read and understood the implications of the proposed project and that they were fully aware of the positive effects and benefits of the said project.

The three also explained that they have consulted their constituents, who did not object to the implementation of the project.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas, in an Oct. 8 letter, submitted to Montejo the required endorsements from the three villages.

The DENR has given a permit to the DPWH to cut down 42 trees, including eight that are at least 100 years old.

The permit also allows the DPWH to earth-ball at least 96 trees. However, 16 acacia trees will be spared.

The first phase of the project spans about 15 kilometers from Tinaan, Naga, to Langtad, Naga.

Montejo said this was one of the conditions of the clearance granted by the DENR central office and the special tree cutting permit issued to the DPWH.

But Montejo noted that the DPWH could not proceed with the tree cutting and earth-balling, as they have to plant 13,800 of native and indigenous seedlings first as replacements for the trees that would be cut.

An environmental group, the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), is considering filing a case against the DPWH and the DENR over the issuance of the cutting and earth-balling permit.

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Lawyer Rose Liza Eisma-Osorio of PEJC said the DPWH and the DENR should be liable for allowing the road project to continue without exploring other options so as not to harm the trees.

A Cebuano blogger, Balbino “Ka Bino” Guerrero, also initiated an online petition posted on Change.org asking Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje to protect the trees from Naga to Carcar.

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TAGS: environment, News, Regions, Road projects, trees
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