More trees up for cutting in Cebu City

SOME 122 trees along Natalio Bacalso Ave. will have to be felled for the road-widening project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7.

The DPWH 7 wrote a letter to Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the committee on infrastructure, asking the City Council to secure a resolution for the removal of the trees.

In the letter signed by DPWH 7 Director Edgar Tabacon, and dated Oct. 3, 2019, the agency said it secured a tree cutting and earthballing permit (TCEP) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) last June 23, 2017 yet.

However, it couldn’t remove the trees immediately because of road right-of-way issues. As a result, the permit, which was good for only 50 days, expired.

As for the council resolution, Tabacon said the DENR requires it when they apply for another TCEP.

The road-widening project that was included in the 2018 General Appropriations Act aims to decongest traffic at the intersection of F. Llamas St. and N. Bacalso Ave.

“It is worth of note that the said road section be widened to complement the existing depressed structure at F. Llamas intersection in order to effectively decongest the traffic in this particular area and promote economic development for the betterment of Cebuanos,” Tabacon said in the letter.

Guardo brought up the matter during the regular session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, and the City Council agreed to hold a Citizen’s Hour in the next regular session.

The council invited representatives from the DPWH, DENR, Cenro, Department of Engineering and Public Works, environmental lawyer Benjamin Cabrido Jr. and other concerned environmentalists.

Mayor Edgardo Labella admitted he does not want to grant the DPWH’s request to cut the trees, but as his administrative duty, he instructed Cenro head John Jigo Dacua to evaluate it.

Earlier this month, Labella sent a letter to Tabacon, asking him not to cut trees in Cebu City as it is contrary to his administration’s thrust to plant three million trees in three years. (JJL)