Environmentalist denounces Magalang plaza tree cutting

Angeles City Councilors Jae Vincent Flores and Jesus Jay Sangil airing their opposition against the ratification of the construction of a sports complex, which is part of the P1.2 billion loan approved by the city council. (Chris Navarro)

MAGALANG -- An environmentalist has denounced the cutting of 89 Agoo and other full-grown trees to give way for the improvement and beautification of the town plaza in this agricultural municipality.

Cecille Yumul of the Save The Trees Coalition said the only thing that made the Magalang patio several notches up compared to other patios are the old trees surrounding it.

"It was a perfect place to walk to sit and let the sunset creep in. It gave one an impression of intelligent civilized people inhabiting the community," she said.

Yumul claimed that the massacre of those trees is a betrayal a sacrilege of those who respected the value of a real community inclusive of all that lived on land, air, water.

She said that no amount of aesthetics and progress will be a relevant excuse to killing trees. "Trimming yes but to murder trees is to murder an irreplaceable community," she said.

"God have mercy on those who permitted the massacre for they have just signed the same fate to their families. The spirit of the trees know and will carry out the same," Yumul added.

Earlier, some of the residents claimed that the local government should have consulted the people first before cutting the trees planted around the plaza.

The Municipal Government had secured a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region III to cut 49 Agoo trees, eight Eucalyptus, 27 neem trees; and earthball 5 narra trees.

In response, Mayor Malu Lacson said that 89 earthballed and cut trees at the town plaza are not "suitable" as park trees.

The lady mayor issued the statement following scores of residents expressed their sentiments against the cutting of trees at the town plaza to give way for the improvement beautification project the local government is implementing.

"With each and every change, the land on which the trees grow becomes more or less valuable, and so do the benefits provided by the trees. Even good municipal planning can lead to problems – land reserved for future development is planted with trees until the development is ready to be built," Lacson stated.

"The earth-balled and cut trees at the Magalang Plaza were found to be not suitable as park trees. They are trees that should be planted in the forest," she said.

According to her, the loose soil in the plaza cannot hold the growing trees which become safety hazards. "A significant number of these trees were uprooted after strong winds and typhoons hit the area.

The project is very timely in terms of sustainable development, the mayor added.

"If we speak about Sustainable Development, today is the best time to start putting things in place and in order. The earliest time we have to make things right and rectify the actions done by the previous administrations is now," Lacson said.

"I understand that every change is painful but it is the only thing that will push the municipality towards the top and pull it from its resting place to attain progress. To achieve sustainability, suitability shall be ensured," she added.


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