Palma: Cut down ailing, century trees that block highway project
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma wasn’t misquoted by reporters after all as far as his position on the century-old acacia trees along Cebu’s south is concerned.
The 63-year-old prelate made it clear that he supports the cutting of “sick and old” trees along the South Cebu Highway, saying they pose continuing risks to commuters who pass by the area.
“I recognize the importance of trees in our lives. We value those centennial trees which have become part of our culture and tradition. But there are other principles which we need to consider like the danger they pose to the community. When you travel down south often, then you realize its many implications,” Palma told reporters.
Aside from weak trees, the archbishop also said he deems it proper for authorities to remove healthy trees that occupy portions of the recently widened roads.
“We’re aware of many acacias that fell down because they are sick and old. And they endangered and even killed lives. We’re also aware that if not addressed early, these trees can be a great inconvenienced to commuters,” Palma said.
The DENR 7, however, firmly stood by its evaluation that removal of the diseased trees was necessary. Gov. Hilario Davide III said he will send a letter to Paje to reconsider the stand of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to suspend cutting of trees, saying the rotten trees pose danger to the public.
Last week, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes, accompanied by four Cebuano mountaineers, raced through the main thoroughfares of uptown Cebu City, appealing to Palma to help protect the “diseased” trees.
Reyes claimed that Palma’s opinion on cutting of weak trees was just misquoted by reporters.
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