Trees and human life

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma, a Freeman report said, backed the cutting of century-old acacia trees along the highway in the cities of Naga and Carcar and San Fernando town in southern Cebu.

His Grace said the trees pose a danger to the public, citing the toppling down of an acacia in Barangay Zapatera, Cebu City two years ago, which pinned to death a public utility jeepney driver.

Who would now support these trees of death?

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The Cebu prelate said he respects the advocacy of environmentalists and running priest Robert Reyes, but there is also a need to weigh things.

Reyes parachuted to Cebu and campaigned to save the trees. The running priest described the cutting of old and sick trees as similar to the killing of those who are already old and sickly.

That’s euthanasia. But how would he describe it when these trees fall and kill young and active people?

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A forestry expert, who inspected the trees along the highway in southern Cebu, said not one among them deserved to be cut.

Those which are sick need surgery, while those trees which are leaning towards the highway needed to be pruned. Motorists simply have to be warned.

That’s right. When the tree falls on the motorists, at least, they’ve been sufficiently warned.

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje ordered DENR 7 to recall the special tree cutting permit issued to the Department of Public Works and Highways 7.

But DENR 7 public information officer Eddie Llamedo said their central office knows the diseased trees that they identified for cutting down were those that cannot be cured.

Well, it seems not all trees are created equal.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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