Gov’t team to proceed with cutting Naga trees

August 05,2014 - 08:22 AM

The cutting of seven century-old trees in Naga City will proceed at 9 a.m. today.

A joint team of government agencies will handle the task even as Gov. Hilario Davide III suggested tapping private contractors to speed up the process.

At least 84 roadside trees in southern cities of Naga, Carcar and San Fernando town have been tagged for cutting because their advanced state of decay or disease pose a high risk of the trees collapsing as did two large acacias in the past month in Carcar and San Fernando.

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the provincial Government may not have enough equipment to assist in the cutting. We might need a private contractor to do that for us,” he said.

In a meeting with mayors and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy proposed to bid out the cutting of the trees identified as hazardous by the agency.

“If the private sector agrees to cut the trees, then the government will be spared from the hassle,” he said.

However, DENR-7 Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said such an arrangement isn’t part of their policy.

Agreement

“For now, we still don’t have that in our regulation. I still have to ask for a clearance regarding that. We can’t bid out standing trees. Plus, we cannot determine the total volume of those trees as well,” Montejo said.

DPWH, along with teams from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), will cut the trees.

An agreement between the City of Naga government, the province, DENR and DPWH was supposed to be signed yesterday.

However, it was decided that a new agreement be drafted, this time, including the other two local goverment units.

Approval

“There are trees along the road traversing the two cities and municipality. It’s better to make one uniform agreement instead of individual ones. Anyway, they will all be treated all the same,” Governor Davide said.

Even without an agreement, the scheduled cutting of trees will push through today because it already secured DENR approval.

Montejo said other trees in San Fernando, Carcar and Naga, are still being assessed.

Carcar Mayor Nicepuro Apura said with the new agreement, he will ask for amendments in the city ordinance protecting trees that are 50 years and older.

The agreement identifies the responsibilities of each party and includes the assurance that for every tree cut, one hundred trees will be replanted by the local government.

Replacement

However, the sites where these new trees will be planted were not yet identified by DENR.
Davide suggested that local governments tap schools and have students plant the trees and nurture them in their own school yard.

The mayors also insisted that mangroves be planted as replacement.

Director Montejo said there is no prohibition in the type of plants they can replace the century-old trees with.

“They can plant fruit trees or mangroves for as long as the trees are replenished,” he said.
The local government units have to comply from today until October, Montejo said.

Related Stories:

Naga tree cutting delayed DPWH boss: No money to replace trees

Acacia trees in Naga to be cut Monday

 

 

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TAGS: Carcar, DENR-7, DPWH, DPWH-7, Gov. Hilario Davide III, Naga trees, San Fernando, traffic

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