Environment groups: Spare trees in Dakudao Avenue

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Friday, April 25, 2014


ENVIRONMENTAL groups opposed the proposed plan to cut down the trees along Dacudao Avenue, the only major thoroughfare in Davao City shaded with mature trees, insisting that the idea is "too extreme and alternative options have not been explored."

In a statement sent to Sun.Star Davao, the Interface Development Interventions (Idis) said such proposal was revealed by City Environment and National Resources Office (Cenro) Forester Chris Asibal during the Rainwater Harvesting Forum organized by the Idis and the Davao City Water District on March 24.

The planting of falcata trees that line up Dacudao Avenue was an initiative of a civic organization sometime in the early 1990s.

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According to Asibal, the City Engineer's Office (CEO) plans to remove the trees to improve the main drain canal which is situated at the aisle of the road.

"They plan to improve the canal so they filed a request to remove the trees. As Cenro technical officer, I recommended not to cut down the trees because the avenue is the heart of the city which gives us fresh oxygen," Asibal said.

He also revealed that the CEO is also planning to replace the trees with other plants.

However, he said replacing trees would be "wasteful."

"Once trees reach 10 years or more, their capacity to absorb pollutants and carbon dioxide is increased," he said.

"There is a need to assess the area; they can replace the over-mature and defective trees but not all. The structure of the canal can just be improved so that it can stay and serve longer," he added.

Idis executive director Ann Fuertes also called the CEO to cease its proposal.

"Dacudao Avenue is the only major thoroughfare in Davao City shaded with mature trees. It is in stark contrast to the rest of Davao's major streets which are all concrete and asphalt; all the more we should preserve it," Fuertes said.

"It is extremely short-sighted to sacrifice what little greenery we have at the expense of a little convenience.

She said she recommends the CEO that "instead of cutting the trees, they should remove the silt and accumulated waste in the canal so that the run-off will not overflow in the lower lying areas."

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII) former President Sofronio Jucutan, who also attended the forum, pointed out that the main drain canal does not need any improvement because it can sufficiently handle the run-off coming from Bajada and Buhangin.

As a matter of fact, he said that when the University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) sent their engineer to study the problem, he found out that there is no problem with the structure.

"There is no issue with the canal; the issue is with the outlet, right after the overpass. So the plan should be reassessed and whenever possible, wag putulin ang kahoy," Jucutan said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 26, 2014.

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