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Thursday, July 31, 2014


Tree-cutting in Talisay has DENR permit

THIRTEEN gmelinas inside the Talisay City Hall compound in Barangay Lawaan 2 were cut down yesterday.

Mayor Johnny delos Reyes said the trees will be turned into dividers for makeshift classrooms at the Talisay City College.

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He said the cutting was sanctioned by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7.

Confirmation

This was confirmed by Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 spokesperson, who said that Community Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro) Cebu City Chief Anastacio Cabalejo issued a cutting permit to the Talisay City Government for the removal of 13 of 34 gmelinas growing inside the compound.

The mayor wanted the trees removed so these could be replaced with more sustainable trees, such as fruit-bearing trees or pine trees.

Before the permit was approved, foresters from Cenro inspected the trees and found that the 13 were already dead and needed to be removed immediately.

Cabalejo also attached a condition: the logs would only be used for official purposes.

“It means that the logs should not be disposed commercially and when they transport them, a transport permit must be secured,” Llamedo said.

He said he will wait for the mayor’s reply on how the City complied.

A concerned citizen who asked not to be named also urged the City Council to ensure the logs are not sold to private persons.

Wanting proof

He said he caught job-order employees yesterday cutting down the trees, which were growing beside the Talisay Plaza.

When he asked them what they were doing, they allegedly told him they were removing the trees to prepare for the mayor’s birthday party on Sunday.

He said he wants to know if the City had a permit to cut the trees, considering there’s a nationwide moratorium on tree-cutting.

City Councilor Antonio Bacaltos Jr. said he also wants to see the DENR permit.

He said he plans to monitor the cutting of trees inside the compound and he will ask the mayor about the fate of the logs.

Bacaltos said he filed a resolution last May, urging delos Reyes to cut down 10 gmelina trees beside the office of the City’s green valley program and replace these with fruit-bearing trees.

He was afraid the trees’ dried-up branches would endanger the workers at the green valley program office.

His resolution was approved.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 01, 2014.

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