A MULTI-MILLION peso project is into rough sailing due to vehement objection from groups who claimed to be advocates of the environment in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

Tanjay City Mayor Reynaldo Concepcion earlier disclosed funding for the P42-million improvement and renovation of Rizal Park to make it look like the Rizal Park in Manila.

The project is ready for implementation after complying with all the requirements, he said Tuesday.

However, members of the Tanjay Anti-Black Sand Mining and some members of non-government organizations (NGOs) who were invited during the public hearing on December 29, 2016 at the Osmeña Park in Dumaguete City continue to protest the project.

Romualdo Dondee Señeris, of the Visayan Forum, said that cutting of trees is definitely not in line with the climate change adaptation mandate of local government units in requesting the Tanjay City, represented during the hearing by the officer-in-charge city administrator, the environment and natural resources officer, city planning, city legal and the chairman of the committee on environment in the City Council, to change the design of the proposed project.

Inventory showed 19 trees would be affected and uprooted, to include 12 mahogany trees, four pine trees, two gmelina trees and one mango tree.

According to Señeris, the group will file a formal complaint before the proper forum to make known their objection to the cutting of trees, adding that they are for development but to spare the trees that act as carbon sink that absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs. per year and in turn release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support human beings.

He noted that trees inside the Rizal Park have helped maintain the balance of the surroundings of two churches and three schools in the area, including the municipal hall and the police station nearby.

Señeris suggested that funding for the proposed project be used instead to further develop the Tanjay Board Walk, which is one of the main tourist attractions of the city.

Mayor Concepcion considers the Rizal Park as a historical place for tourists, both local and foreign, to visit.

Thus, the need to make it look like the Rizal Park in Manila for Tanjayanons to be proud of, the mayor pointed out. (PNA)