Mayor urges firms to restore islands

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Monday, April 21, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 and WT Construction to restore the center island and the trees along S. Osmeña Blvd.

This is because it is part of his thrust to make the city a “city with nature,” the mayor said.

The islands were removed by WT when it worked on DPWH’s widening of S. Osmeña Blvd.
“The island has to be back. It should not be tapered because there was never a discussion from the beginning to remove them,” he said.

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As for the trees, it was allegedly illegally removed by the contractor without permission and they remain missing until now. A case has already been filed against WT by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The mayor said the center island and the trees have to be restored because they add to the aesthetic value in the area.

It is important, he said, considering that the City is preparing for the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (Apec) in 2015 and the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

Meeting

Rama discussed the matter with DPWH and WT in a closed door meeting yesterday at City Hall. The meeting was also attended by DENR and the Parks and Playgrounds Commission among others.

Aside from restoring the trees and the center island, Rama asked DPWH and WT to not only widen the S. Osmeña Blvd., but also beautify the area by establishing sidewalks.

The City, he said, will help them.

Rama said he tasked City Administrator Dr. Lucelle Mercado, Councilor Nida Cabrera (chairperson of the City Council’s committee on environment), and Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor Collin Rosell to handle the matter.

“Let’s help each other,” he said.

DENR case

Asked if they were able to discuss the case filed by DENR against WT in relation to the missing trees, Rama said they did, but refuse to dwell on the matter.

He said, though, that the City will be helping DENR in the case by providing data such as presenting footage of the City’s closed-circuit television cameras.

While the case is ongoing, Rama said WT vowed to continue doing their works for the road-widening project at S. Osmeña Blvd.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 22, 2014.

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