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Centuries old trees to be cut or pruned?

Cutting of century old acacia trees in Sibulan.

DUMAGUETE CITY – At least three naturally-grown century old acacia trees in Sibulan have been identified as hazardous and dangerous to lives and limbs, prompting the local government unit to request for its cutting, while one to be subjected to pruning. This is the price of planting good trees at the wrong places.

Sibulan senior administrative officer III Iris Indira Requiron-Puspus disclosed the local government unit was granted a permit to cut three century old acacia trees by the national office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources dated February 2018 and was received March 2, 2018 by the mayor’s office with an expiration date of 50 days.

Specific acacia trees to be cut has a total gross volume of 28.91 cubic meters and a net volume of 20.24 cubic meters, while the fourth one is for pruning located along the road of Poblacion and Cangmating, Sibulan near the police station.

First to be cut is the acacia tree located at the poblacion area leading to the church on orders of Mayor Abiera because its big branches are inclined to the church area and at the entrance to the wharf where daily passenger traffic is heavy, thus, posing danger to life and property. The area is also used as a sort of terminal for the “pedi-foot”. “We are preparing for the worst scenario to happen,” according to the words of the mayor, says senior administrative assistant III Puspus.

LGU Sibulan would want to make it clear all the procedures had been undertaken, one of which is for the permittee to replace the trees to be cut with 300 seedlings of indigenous tree species with at least one meter in height to be donated to the nearest DENR office in support of the National Greening Program (NGP) and climate change initiatives of the government.

After the cutting and pruning, the local DENR office is required to submit an accomplishment report to the DENR regional officer of the total volume of timber harvested and the seedling replacement together with maps in shape file format of the area planted with 300 seedlings.

And that it shall be the responsibility of the local DENR/CENRO office to monitor the permittee’s compliance with terms and conditions stipulated under the permit issued. The permittee is also required to undertake measures during and after cutting and pruning operations to mitigate the possible impacts of the said activity to the locality and to the environment.

Tree cutting and pruning permit No. 0702262018-000000754 was issued by Reginal Director Gilbert C. Gonzales of DENR region 7.