FOLLOW environmental laws, or else face the consequences, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 warns local government units (LGUs).

DENR 7 officials said the filing of charges against Argao Mayor Edsel Galeos over the cutting of trees in his town is a warning to other local government officials to avoid committing environmental violations.

In a press conference yesterday, Isabelo Montejo, DENR 7 executive director, told reporters their agency’s legal division is assessing a number of cases against local government officials over various environmental violations.

Montejo said that while they don’t want any conflict between LGUs, they don’t want local officials to violate environmental laws for the sake of development.

He said that while DENR is not against development, local officials must come up with developmental projects that will not endanger nature.

With the case against Galeos now in court, Montejo refused to elaborate on the matter.

Farm-to-market

Earlier, the DENR 7 filed charges against Galeos for the cutting of 300 trees to make way for a farm-to-market road in Barangay Jampang.

The DENR 7 filed a case before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against Galeos for violation of Presidential Decree 705, or the Forestry Code of the Philippines.

Galeos allegedly ordered the cutting of trees in Barangay Jampang despite the area being a pilot plantation for the National Greening Program (NGP).

The DENR 7 also initiated the filing of charges against the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and a private contractor for the removal of 79 trees at the Serging Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City.

The DENR 7 initiated the filing of charges against DPWH and WT Construction after they failed to comply with the provisions of a special tree cutting permit issued to them earlier this year.