Tour guide revives online campaign

A CEBU-BASED tour guide initiated an online signature campaign to help preserve the century-old trees that dot the highway from the cities of Naga to Carcar.

Ka Bino Guerrero told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that he organized the campaign to convince Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson to lift the order to cut the trees to make way for a road-widening project in the south of Cebu.

The campaign was posted on Change.org website. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, there were 318 signatures.

Guerrero said the campaign started last year yet. It was revived recently after the DENR issued a special tree cutting permit (STCP) to remove trees that will be affected by the road-widening project.

Guerrero said the online campaign will notify Paje and Singson’s e-mail address so they’ll know how many people signed.

He said the campaign serves as a virtual voice for the “voiceless trees.”

Alternative

“Let us emphasize how the trees are important to us. The trees are for generations yet to come,” he said.

He said there’s no need to remove the trees to improve traffic on the south highway. A good traffic management will solve the problem, Guerrero said.

He said the DPWH can always work around the trees.

“The trees are for our grandchildren. Let us hope that it will not come to the point that our children will only see trees in books,” he said.

DENR 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo Jr. approved the STCP for the DPWH but it set conditions before the DPWH can start cutting the trees.

One of these is the DPWH must have the endorsement of the three affected barangays. It must also conduct a study to determine the affected trees’ aspects, such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration and water storage capability.
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