Gwen to ‘listen’ to mayors, DENR, DPWH first on tree cutting issue; vows to save trees where they can

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | October 14,2019 - 07:50 PM


Centuries-old acacia trees were cut by Public Works crew in Barangay Inuburan, Naga City, Cebu on Oct. 4, 2019. | CDN Digital Photo/ Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid efforts to save the roadside trees in the cities of Naga and Carcar, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is set to meet with the local chief executives of localities that have trees that are under threat to be cut, saying she needs to listen to them first.

Garcia said she set a meeting with the Central Visayas regional officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-7) within this week to determine how many trees are set to be cut.

She said the mayors of component cities and towns where the trees are scheduled for cutting or earth-balling are located, particularly in Naga City and Carcar City, will also be invited to hear their sentiment on the issue.

Garcia added that those who champion for the protection of the trees must listen first to the reason of the government agencies on why they want to remove the trees that stand on the sides of the roads.

“I shall even call the local chief executives aron atong paminawon kay sila man ang naa didto. Kasagaran sa mga nikomentaryo wapa man gani siguro na makaabot didto o niagi lang ug wa gyud kahibaw sa situation, traffic flow and ang possible road  accidents that may have happened because possible of obstruction sa trees. Maminaw sa ta and out of respect pod sa mga chief executives,” Garcia said in a press conference on Monday, October 14.

(I shall even call the local chief executives to hear their position on the matter since they are the ones who are actually there. Most of those who make comments on this issue may have not even been there or have just passed by there and do not really know the situation in the area, like the traffic flow and history of accidents possibly caused by the obstruction of the trees.  We need to listen first out of respect to our local chief executives.)

Garcia said the meeting is meant to rationalize the saving of the trees “whenever we can.”

“I know saving the trees is a very popular issue and walay makig debate ana (nobody wants a debate on that). I agree to save the trees whenever we can. It cannot be an all or nothing thing. We all need to coexist. As much as we take we also need to give,” Garcia said.

Read more: 11,000 signatures sought to save roadside trees in Carcar, Naga

Read more: No one stops cutting of century-old trees in Naga City this time

Last week, at least two online petitions were launched to call onto DENR-7 to stop the cutting of the trees in the cities of Naga and Carcar.

In one of the petitions, Milk Joy Pactores, a 25-year-old digital marketing manager based in Lahug, Cebu City, said that humans, who has the ability to move, should adjust to the stationary trees that stand on the roadsides rather than cutting them “for convenience.”

“Let us not sacrifice Earth’s lungs for our human convenience. We might not feel the effect now but our future generation surely will. Save the trees!”Pactores wrote in the petition posted on

Another petition was also launched in calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to save the trees.

The petitioner, who bore the username “Tingog Kinaiyahan,” said: “The trees South of Cebu are part of our Culture and Heritage as a Cebuano aside from the Environmental Protection they give the inhabitants of the island.”

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

Environmental activist and lawyer Benjamin Cabrido also filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan before the Court of Appeals in Cebu City to stop the cutting down of trees in Cebu./elb

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TAGS: Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, move to stop Cebu tree cutting, tree cutting in Cebu

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