Ex-legislator urges politicos to stay away

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Sunday, August 10, 2014


THE fate of the trees that dot the national highway from the City of Naga to Carcar City should rest on the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Politicians should not interfere, said Eduardo Gullas, former Cebu first district representative.
Gullas, who called a press conference yesterday, admitted that he does not want the trees to be cut.

But during his term as congressman, he said he initiated the widening of that portion of the highway and the felling of trees at a cost of P1.025 billion.

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Some P636 million was raised, which was sourced from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of former Cebu City south district representative Tomas Osmeña (P400 million) and Gullas (P236 million).

Ideally, Gullas said, he would have wanted a four-lane highway, with heritage trees on a center island and century-old trees on one side.

“But the cost will be more than double,” he said.

Gullas said he shares the proposal of local conservation groups that a third party should conduct an independent investigation-study on the diseased trees in the City of Naga, San Fernando and Carcar City.

In a related development, the Occupy Acacia Movement announced that Fr. Robert Reyes will lead a solidarity run today from Barangay Tinaan in the City of Naga to Carcar City.

According to the group’s text message, Reyes will deliver a message at the start of the activity. He will then conduct a religious fellowship after the event under Carcar City’s “arboreal tunnel.”

Participants will also tie a white ribbon around each heritage tree that they will pass along the way.

Last Friday, DENR 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo revoked the tree-cutting permit covering the three remaining diseased acacia trees along the national highway in the City of Naga.

Last July 16, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office reported that 77 diseased trees in San Fernando should be cut. Of the 77, 10 are century-old acacia trees. (OCP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2014.

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