Labella’s Promise: Cebu City to plant 3M trees to replace 5 trees cut by DENR

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 05,2019 - 11:22 AM

Volunteers planted seedlings from ornamental trees at the Welcome Hill of the South Road Properties (SRP) this morning, to mark the official start of the Cebu City government’s campaign to plant three million trees in three years.| Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The five trees which the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) ordered cut from along Don Gil Garcia Street in Cebu City will be replaced with three million new ones.

Mayor Edgardo Labella said this was his purpose for organizing an early morning tree planting activity today, October 5, which marked the officials start of his administration’s campaign to plant three million seedlings that will grow into three million new trees in the next three years.

“Ang DPWH nagsige nag putol og mga kahoy. Mao kita nisulat na didto sa DPWH nga dili ta mosugot nga putlon nila ang mga kahoy sa atong dalan. Kay mosamot na gyod ang baha diri sa atong syudad if ila pa gyod pamutlong atong kahoy. Wa naman tay mabuhat sa naputol nila, ato nalang pulihan og tres milyones nga kahoy,” he said in an interview after the formal street of today’s activity.

(DPWH has been cutting trees. This was the reason why I wrote them to personally inform them that I will no longer allow cutting of trees on our streets. The cutting of trees could severe flooding in our city. But there is nothing that we can do for the already cut trees that is why we will be working to replace these with three million new trees.)

Read More: Cebu City mayor to DPWH: Stop cutting our trees

Labella led hundreds of volunteers in planting 10, 000 seedling today at the Welcome Hill of the South Road Properties (SRP). The group then transferred to the Sapangdaku riverbank before they proceeded to the final stop of the activity in the mountain barangay of Taptap.

The mayor aims to plant one million seedlings this year and a total of three million in the next three years.

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

Lawyer John Jigo Dacua, head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), said that his office already planted 25, 000 seedlings as of September 29 or at least a week before the official start of the city’s tree planting campaign. About 15, 000 of these were planted in the mountains of Barangay Adlaon.

“We will form a task force to monitor and maintain these trees. They will be called forest rangers, river troopers, and coast patrolers,” Labella told reporters in an interview.

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

Labella said he will soon be releasing an Executive Order to formalize the creation of the task force that will ensure that the newly planted seedlings will grow into adult trees.

Under the city’s tree planting programs, fire trees were planted at the SRP while bamboo will be planted along the riverbanks to help stabilize the soil in these areas. Narra and tugas were planted in Taptap.

Labella said he looks forward to seeing Cebu City turn into a green city in the next three years. / dcb

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