Youth activists, residents protest to stop cutting of trees in Naga City
NAGA CITY, Cebu— Lito Lapure, 48, hoisted himself on a tree in 2014 to protest against the scheduled cutting of 84 trees in Barangay Inoburan, Naga City.
The trees were saved.
This morning, October 15, Lapure, a mountaineer, set out to the streets again to protest against the cutting of the century-old trees that stand along the national highway here. These were the very same trees that he tried to save five years ago.
The cutting of the trees is sanctioned by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) to make way for their road widening project in Cebu’s southern corridor.
At least 32 of the 84 trees were already cut as of October 5.
“Kanang mga motorista ilang gihunahuna ang ila ra mang mga sakyanan intawon whereas kita, atong gihunahuna kay sa kadaghanan nga maski nangatulog nakabenepisyo sa oxygen,” Lapure told CDN Digital.
(Motorists only think of having wider roads for their vehicles, but we consider the welfare of everyone so that even as we sleep we will still have enough supply of oxygen coming from these trees.)
Lapure, who was born and raised here, said he has never heard of any road accidents caused by Naga City’s roadside trees.
On the contrary, most of the vehicular accidents in the area were caused by motorist who overspeed because of the availability of wide roads.
Nerio Getutua, 58, shared Lapure’s sentiments.
Getutua said that instead of cutting the trees, DPWH-7 should have its branches trimmed to avoid from getting entangled with utility wires.
“Kung dunay mabangga niana, danghag siya nga driver. Nganong mabangga man gyud nga kalapad na anang karsada?” Getutua said.
(If a driver figures in a road accident that means that he was being reckless. Why will you figure in an accident when the road is wide enough for your use?)
On Tuesday morning, October 15, Lapure joined members of Kabataan Partylist in Cebu who conducted a protest in front of one of the century old trees in Naga City that is set to be cut by DPWH-7.
The protesters, which consisted of around 15 students from the KPL chapters in Cebu, also posted papers which voiced their call to already cease the cutting of the trees in the area.
Aura Mae Agbay, University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) Student Council president, said they also launched a signature campaign to urge congress to intervene and order a stop to the cutting of trees in south Cebu. / dcb
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