School probed for cutting trees-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
THE Environment department conducted an investigation at the Sergio Osmeña Memorial High School last week on the alleged cutting of several trees there.
Officials of the school were invited to a conference with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 scheduled for next week.
Forester Danilo Orbasido, DENR 7 staff clearing unit member of the Forest Management Section (FMS), visited the school last Aug. 23 and found that four Mahogany trees, two Indian trees, two narra trees and a tree of unknown species had been pruned.
He reported that a teacher, Jose Ray Abella, supervised the cutting of trees on orders by Nimfa Balili, the principal of the school in Labangon.
Orbasido said the trees were cut for “ground beautification without the approval from (the) Schools Division Superintendent.”
In his incident report submitted to City Environment and Natural Resources officer Anastacio Cabalejo, Orbasido said four mahogany trees were cut down.
They had a diameter of 17, 15, 25, and 43 centimeters and an average height of three meters. The two narra trees had a diameter of 19 and 20 centimeters each. The two Indian trees were 11 and 16 centimeters in diameter.
The forester also attached to his incident report photos of the cut trees.
In a statement, DENR 7 Director Isabelo Montejo invited Balili to attend administrative proceedings to discuss the issue.
“This is part of the process that we usually observe to listen to an explanation or justification on what prompted them or who authorized them to eliminate those trees as existing policy requires the approval or a clearance before tree cutting will be made,” said Montejo.
“Narra trees or Pterocarpus indicus are considered as a premium tree species and these trees should not be cut down unless a permit or clearance from the DENR, specifically the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations in Manila, is obtained per Feb. 5, 2013 DENR memorandum,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2013.