Tree cutting made easy for gov projects
OBSCURE trees in the way of government road improvement projects will have to be cut.
Department Of Environment And Natural Resources forester Victoriano Bilayan said a new order from Secretary Roy Cimatu has made tree cutting for government approved developmental projects easier by giving authority to the regional office to issue tree cutting permits.
Bilayan said the order stemmed from the dilemma of having
road widening projects stalled or unusable because of waiting time for cutting permits from the DENR national office for trees assessed and approved to be deemed as obstructions to development.
Bilayan said the case of the Camp Allen Park, which gave way to road widening but is now used as parking is an example explaining the cutting permits for the three trees in the area had to be sent to the office of then Secretary Gina Lopez and until this time has no approval.
Today, the widening has finished and cannot be used as the trees had to be enclosed until approval to cut has been given.
The request for the Camp Allen area was made by the Baguio Fire Department citing in time of emergency, they need to have wider access to the road for fire trucks.
The DENR was called on the summons of Councilor Elaine Sembrano, committee chair on environment because of concerns of the council on road widening projects which cannot be used because of existing trees in the area and to shed light on procedures done in development of roads and public facilities where pine trees are to be cut, destroyed and uprooted.
Bilayan said if trees are deemed to obstructions then there is no recourse but to cut them or uproot if applicable, adding there is still no technology to save the Benguet Pine Tree to this day.
Councilor Faustino Olowan offered to do an undertaking with the DPWH, DENR and the local council to make the process easier as well as take into assessment the plight of trees to be removed for development projects in the future.
The matter will be taken up by the committee before the council moves on the issue.