THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now coordinating with the Technical Infrastructure Committee (TIC) to finally cut the trees in the middle of widened roads in Metro Cebu.
Nicomedes Leonor, the district engineer of the DPWH Cebu City District Engineering Office, said they now want to remove also the utility posts in the middle of several widened roads.
These posts are probably owned by the Visayas Electric Co. (Veco) and telecommunications companies.
“All the utilities are members of TIC and TIC will reiterate our request for the removal/transfer of all these posts,” Leonor said.
Anton Mari G. Perdices, Veco vice president for operation, in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu said, “We will work with them to get it done. We have several coordination meetings with them already regarding this.”
Earlier, Dennis Verallo of Veco operations department, said that most of the utility posts in the streets, which are made of wood, are now being used by telecommunications companies.
Veco is now using concrete posts, which are taller than the wooden posts.
Leonor said they need a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) so they can cut the trees especially at M.J. Cuenco Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City.
However, the DENR has not issued a permit until now.
When asked to comment, Dr. Eddie Llamedo, the DENR spokesperson, said that the DPWH as proponent will file a request for the issuance of special tree cutting permit.
He said the DENR will conduct an inventory of the actual number of trees to be affected to include the diameter, height and other details and the actual situation of the tree whether in good condition or in advanced stage of decay.
He said the requirements of the special tree cutting are: clearance or certification from the Local Government Unit (LGU) and from barangay interposing no objection on the proposed cutting of trees.
“Before the certification, the proponent, should have conducted a thorough and genuine public consultation with the concerned community, environmental organizations, civil society organ toons and other stakeholders whether they will support or oppose the cutting of the trees,” Llamedo said.
Llamedo said that the DPWH also needs to attach a certification that the application or the project has been vetted by the DPWH secretary.
“Once we get all the documents or requirements, we will make the necessary endorsement to the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations to issue the clearance so that the DENR 7 director can issue the special tree cutting permit.