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Youth activists, residents protest to stop cutting of trees in Naga City

By: Rosalie Abatayo October 15,2019 - 12:19 PM

Naga City residents and members of the Kabataan partylist protested this morning, October 15, against the cutting of roadside trees in Naga City. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

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.

Read More: Mountaineer climbs Naga tree; all cutting suspended

Lito Lapure. | Rosalie O. Abatayo

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.)

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

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.

Students embraced one of the century old roadside trees in Naga City. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

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

“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.

Members of the Kabataan partylist in Cebu voiced their opposition to cutting of century old trees in Naga City to give way to a road expansion project in the area. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

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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TAGS: Carcar City, century-old trees, DPWH-7, Kabataan Partylist, Naga City, protest, road widening

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