DPWH might have to stop work on blvd. as a result of missing trees

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Friday, April 4, 2014


THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 will issue a cease-and-desist order against the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) to stop the road rehabilitation project of S. Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City after the disappearance of more than 80 trees from the center island.

The trees were reportedly removed last March 29 and 30.

Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 spokesperson, said foresters Raul Pasoc and Filemon Embalzado Jr. found 40 trees in an open space fronting one of the gates of Pier 5.

The trees had been chopped and strung, Llamedo said. Some looked like they have dried up, he said.

Centro custody

The trees are now under the custody of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro).

Llamedo said the trees were hauled by an unidentified truck last March 30.

He also said they plan to implement the order today.

Dr. Isabelo Montejo, DENR 7 executive director, condemned the removal of the trees and has ordered the agency’s legal division to study the possible cases to be filed against those responsible.

“This is a clear violation of the conditions set forth in the conduct of an earth-balling activity,” he said.

The DPWH 7 earlier filed a request last March 19 to Cenro to remove the trees on the center island as this will be affected the road rehabilitation project.

The Barangay Council of Mabolo had issued a resolution that it would not object to the removal.

Last March 24, Cenro approved the removal of 145 trees on the boulevard provided the DPWH 7 followed certain conditions.

Conditions ignored

The conditions include that only trees mentioned in the inventory report made by Cenro will be removed; the earth-balling activity will be strictly supervised by the Cebu City Parks and Playground Commission and the DENR 7; that the earth-balled trees will be transplanted in areas identified, such as the Mahiga Creek, San Pedro Calungsod Shrine and the Barangay Lorega Triangle; and the DPWH 7 will replace every tree that dies with 100 seedlings that will be planted in areas identified by the DENR 7.

In a GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak report yesterday, Marie Nellana, DPWH 7 public information officer, said they, too, were surprised that the conditions were ignored when the trees were earth-balled.

Nellana said they’ve already written WT Construction, asking the firm to disclose where it placed the trees.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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