Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said road widening is necessary to meet the growing number of vehicles brought on by an increasing population.
“For as long a permit is granted, I really don’t mind the cutting of these trees,” said Lacson, in reaction to the pruning of trees along the Abuanan Road in Bago City in preparation for their being cut down to give way for the widening of the two-lane road to four lanes.
Netizens have began an online signature campaign at change.org calling on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to stop the Department of Public Works and Highways from cutting the trees.
As of 9 p.m. last night 4,592 had signed the online petition at https://www.change.org/p/department-of-public-works-and-highways-killing-trees-in-the-name-of-progress .
The Community Environment and Natural Resources in Bago City Saturday stopped the cutting of the trees and summoned officials of DPWH and contractor Silver Dragon, to an administrative hearing next week to explain why they pruned the trees even without a permit to do so.
The DPWH had filed an application for clearance to cut 271 trees along Abuanan Road but the DENR had not granted it permission to do so when the Abuanan tree pruning took place, CENRO Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya said.
“Without permit, definitely that is wrong,” Lacson said.
But he pointed out that a lot of road widening is happening not only in Negros Occidental, but nationwide.
“Obviously we have to expand our roads but if there are trees that will be damagedthe necessary permits should be given out first before they cut,” Lacson said.
“When you have a growing population you will have more vehicles on the roadand if you don’t widen the road then it becomes unsafe for motorists,” he said.
Trees can be planted in place of those that are cut, road safety comes first, he added.*CPG
back to top