ANGELES CITY -- The City Council here has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to provide a detailed plan on its road widening project along the Friendship Circumferential Road where some 259 full grown trees are scheduled to be cut down.
This was gleaned in a resolution recently passed by the City Council "requesting the DPWH to furnish the Angeles City Council with details on the road widening project of Friendship Road.
Members of the Save the Trees Coalition trooped to the council during the hearing and passage of the resolution last Monday, January 20.
The City Council passed a separate resolution asking the DPWH and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to suspend the cutting of trees along the vital access road.
"While we remain vigilant and continue to explore legal actions, we also celebrate a milestone as the Angeles City council passed two resolutions sponsored by Councilor Amos Rivera," the organization stated.
Mayor Carmelo Lazatin, Jr. earlier asked the DPWH to suspend the ongoing cutting of the trees following strong opposition from the residents and environmentalists.
In his letter to Engr. Tito Jesus T. Salvador, head of the DPWH Pampanga Third District Engineering Office, Lazatin said "there has been an outcry of opposition from the citizens, particularly on social media, few days after the cutting started."
The Save the Trees Coalition had started an online petition calling for a suspension on the tree-cutting, which more than 3,000 people signed as of Friday, January 24.
"As government officials, I believe that we need to balance the need to promote development with keeping an open ear to the opinions of the public," the mayor told Salvador.
"In the light of this vehement opposition from our constituents, I would like to respectfully request your good office to immediately suspend the ongoing cutting of trees while we look into possible alternatives that would satisfy the need to clear the area for road widening without killing these trees," Lazatin added.
He also furnished Salvador a copy of news reports and the complaints of netizens.
Businesswoman Mitch Otsuru Park, who signed the petition, assailed the tree cutting.
"After what has happened and happening in other countries with all the burning forests, trees and bushes -- they are all trying to save. Here we are in the Philippine, cutting down our own existing trees to widen the roads, how sad," stated Park in her Facebook post.
"Save the Trees," commented one Koji Tako to Park's post.