Cutting of trees at Happy Hollow ordered stopped-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
THE contractor of the circumferential road project in Happy Hallow was advised not to proceed with the cutting of trees as its permit to cut is still pending before the Environment department.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Baguio District Engineer Ireneo Gallato said Tuesday that contractor Goldrich Construction was told to skip areas with problems on tree cutting.
Earlier this month, the agency’s name was dragged into the controversial cutting of more than a dozen mature pine trees in Happy Hallow village to give way to the completion of the Circumferential Road project.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-City Environment and Natural Resources Office filed charges against the contractor and DPWH for not waiting for the issuance of a tree-cutting permit.
Gallato said cutting of trees for roads is not prohibited in Executive Order 23 or the logging moratorium.
He also briefed DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson on this latest scuffle, claiming all this will be settled by the government agencies involved.
The Circumferential Road project started in 2011 and is expected to be finished this year.
He said the road construction, which composes a segment of the 21-kilometer Circumferential Road would take 270 working days. The road project should have started last year but problems on Road Right of Way and lot ownership problems pushed back the project, making the bidding only possible last February and awarding of project last March.
With the completion of the P60-million worth portion of the Circumferential Road, he said the congested streets of the Central Business District will be cleared as alternative routes will be made available to motorists.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 16, 2012.