DENR-7 to Cebu City: Explain cutting of trees in Guba
The Cebu City government told to provide a plan first for its public cemetery project
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) has ordered a stop to the construction of a public cemetery in Barangay Guba, Cebu City until the city government has provided its plan to address the environmental impact of such in the area.
Dr. Eddie Llamedo, Planning Division of DENR 7 chief, said that they had investigated the cutting of 389 trees in Barangay Guba on July 9, 2020, and they found out that the Mahogany trees were cut without a permit.
“Ang kining pagpamutol, wala niy cutting permit sa DENR-7. Ang CENRO (City Environment and Natural Resources Office) niissue na og apprehension aning pagputol sa Mahogany trees equivalent to 12.47 cubic meter,” said Llamedo.
(The cutting was not permitted by the DENR-7. The CENRO already issued an apprehension for the cutting of the Mahogany trees equivalent to 12.47 cubic meters.)
Llamedo said the DENR-7 had already asked the Cebu City to explain why the trees were cut without a permit, and the city government would be called for an adjudication proceeding within the next few days.
Aside from the trees, the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL) has issued a violation as well for the cutting of the trees because of its negative impact to the environment in the area especially as it is near a water reservoir.
Still, Llamedo said the DENR-7 was not prohibiting the city from establishing a public cemetery in the area and understood the urgency of this project.
However, the DENR-7 urged the city government not to bypass the environmental regulations in cutting trees of transforming a land for other use.
“The land is in a multiple-use zone, but it has to remain similar to its existing land use. They are planning a botanical memorial garden so it will still be consistent, but they need to present mitigating measures on how to lessen the environmental impact,” said Llamedo.
He encouraged the city government to comply with the DENR’s environmental mitigating measures and present their plans on how to address solid waste, water quality, and clean air regulations.
If the city has presented its development plan, the DENR-7 will now allow the city to proceed with the project.
“We need to evaluate that. We need to know the plan of the Cebu City government and undergo the process. Let us not compromise our environment safeguards,” Llamedo added. /dbs
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