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Cebu City mayor to DPWH: Stop cutting our trees

Mayor Edgardo Labella said cutting trees in the city is contrary to his vision of growing three million trees

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 04,2019 - 04:41 PM

The Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) put up a notice sign for an approved tree cutting permit along Don Gil Garcia Street last September 21, 2019. | CDN Digital file

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella does not want any more trees to be taken down following the cutting of five trees along M. Velez Street here last September 21, 2019. 

This was his pronouncement following a petition for Writ of Kalikasan filed by Lawyer Ben Cabrido to the Court of Appeals to protect all roadside trees in island of Cebu. 

Read: Environmental lawyer goes to CA to stop DENR, DPWH from cutting down roadside trees

Labella said cutting trees in the city is contrary to his vision of growing three million trees, the project of which will start on Saturday, October 5, 2019. 

In a phone conference with reporters on Friday, October 4, 2019, the mayor said the city needs trees to cool down the streets on a hot day, and also to provide fresh air to the usually polluted main throughfares. 

“No, we can’t let them cut our trees,” said Labella. 

The mayor said the city may no longer bring back the five cut trees at M. Velez Street, but it can protect the remaining trees in the city. 

Read: Capitol Site resident, netizens mourn loss of half-century old trees; chopped down for a road widening project

With this, he will be writing to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to stop the cutting of trees in the Natalio Bacalso Street, Osmeña Boulevard, Escario Street, among others. 

Labella said the city cannot always sacrifice nature for progress because at the end of the day, people will only suffer without trees growing in the city. 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) has approved the cutting of trees in Cebu following the road widening projects of DPWH.

In previous statements, the DPWH said the trees in M. Velez posed threats to passing motorists. /bmjo

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