BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Department of Public Works and Highways can no longer cut the remaining decades-old trees along Araneta Highway near the old Bacolod Airport in Bacolod City, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office head, Joan Gerangaya, said yesterday.
This is because the tree-cutting permit has expired, that means the DPWH needs to reprocess everything, including the Resolutions of No Objection from the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod and the Brgy. Singcang Council that has jurisdiction over the area where the trees are, Gerangaya said.
Originally, the DPWH was permitted to cut 25 trees to give way for the rehabilitation of the sidewalk through the construction of a foot walk but only 16 were chopped down after the city government ordered a stop to the tree-cutting activity, following opposition from netizens and residents.
A committee, headed by City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, was formed by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia to spearhead the investigation on the cutting of decades-old trees but no result has been released until now.
Gerangaya, Councilor Carl Lopez, who chairs the SP Committee on Environment and Ecology, and DPWH District Engineer Jaime Javellana had inspected the area where the trees were cut.
Gerangaya said the protruding tree roots destroyed the footwalk and the cemented sidewalk, and affected the drainage system in the area. He said that those who were criticizing the DPWH and the CENRO for the cutting of trees should present better ideas instead to prevent flooding and accidents in the area.*