Naga City plants more tree replacements than required
CEBU CITY—To replace the 58 trees it felled for an oval project for track and field athletes, the Naga City government has planted 3,900 indigenous tree saplings, or 1,000 more than what the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) required.
Eddie Llamedo, regional spokesperson of the DENR, said critics of the tree cutting inside the proposed oval of Naga City Central School failed to attend the activity despite an invitation. They included activist-priest Robert Reyes, chair of Coalition to Save Trees.
“It was unfortunate he (Reyes) could not join us. He could have been part of the multipartite monitoring team to ensure the growth and survival of these tree saplings,” Llamedo said.
Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong led the planting of mahogany, narra and molave saplings in a 3.5-hectare city-owned property in Sitio Kaduldulan, Barangay Lutac, 7 kilometers from the city proper. The saplings came from the city nursery and Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
Chiong said that aside from complying with the directive of the DENR, the tree-planting activity was part of the city’s greening program.
Some 2,500 employees of City Hall, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine National Police, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and private companies, as well as students from Professional Academy of the Philippines and other schools, joined the event.
They were assisted by members of farmers’ groups.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje had earlier ordered the regional department to spare the 21 remaining trees at the city-owned oval site covering 3.2-ha of land and costing P68 million.
This was no longer necessary, following the revision of the special tree-cutting permit that reduced the trees for cutting from 79 to 58, Llamedo said. Fifteen of the toppled trees were of the “agoho” species, six narra, five neem, three mahogany and one “lomboy.”
On Nov. 17, Paje met with president of Parents-Teachers Association Winley dela Fuente and convenors of Movement for a Livable Cebu to discuss their objection to the cutting of 58 trees.
The oval project is expected to be finished by Jan. 30, 2015. Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas
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