ENVIRONMENTALISTS want an independent study to determine the condition of the century-old acacia trees along a road widening project from Naga City to Carcar City.
Lawyer Gloria Estenzo-Ramos told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday a separate study will determine if what the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that some of the acacia trees pose danger to the public, is true.
Officials of the DENR 7 said seven of these acacia trees have to be removed because they are decaying and can no longer be saved.
Ramos, co-founder of the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), said that aside from an independent study on the trees’ condition, she also urged the National Historic Commission to look into the case.
She said the trees have not just environmental but also heritage importance to the two cities.
She urged the DENR 7 to provide them a copy of the special tree cutting permit (STCP) issued to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Ramos criticized the DENR 7 for issuing a statement that the old acacia trees no longer have the ability to sequester carbon.
u201cIt may have lost its carbon sequestration capability, but the trees serves as habitat for different types of endemic species, such as birds and other creatures,” she said.
Ramos said she and her group are not afraid to file an environmental protection order (EPO) to stop the cutting of trees in the area.
Ramos said they met with Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale last week to discuss the issue.
About 42 trees, including the seven acacia trees, are scheduled to be removed after DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo Jr. approved the issuance of STCP to DPWH.
The trees are said to be blocking a road-widening project between the two cities.