CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Pamcham) President Rene Romero called on Tuesday for the total removal of all trees along the MacArthur Highway.

The move is to avoid further accidents and ensure the safety of motorists and commuters.

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Romero was prompted to make the call following recent accident involving a fallen Camachile tree that caused injuries to passengers of a public utility jeepney along the Baliti section of MacArthur Highway last week.

Romero said MacArthur Highway here should be made safe of the dangers of falling branches and trees that have been planted too close to road shoulders.

“The accident that happened last week happened on a clear day. Just imagine the danger if the tree fell on the jeepney at night or during a terrible storm,” Romero said, stressing that the trees should all be removed immediately.

However, Romero was quick to add that Pamcham is willing to help in replacing the trees through massive tree planting programs in areas were the trees could be taken care of.

Romero also urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to exercise more political muscle and remove the trees in favor of the on-going construction of a six-lane highway in this city.

“The DPWH should insist that in favor of public safety and the welfare of the greater number of people who depend on good roads for commerce, business and transportation, the trees should be removed immediately,” Romero said.

Romero said accidents along the area involving fallen trees have been happening for a couple of years now, but environmentalists here who are against the cutting of the said trees have neglected the dangers posed by the trees on motorists.

“These so called environmentalists are not putting their money where their mouth is. If they continue to criticize the government on such measures they should be prepared to present alternatives. But the thing is, it is the less demonstrative members of society who actually plant trees and walk their talk of environmental advocacies,” Romero said.

Romero said that he is even inviting the opposition in the cutting of trees here to join them in three scheduled tree planting activities in the coming months. (Ian Ocampo Flora)