The provincial government asked for consideration of the public amidst the cutting of century-old trees that resulted to a heavy traffic jam in Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga last August 5.
“We asked the understanding of the Cebuano public for the inconvenience we have caused,” said Atty. Chad Estella, said Officer-in-Charge, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources
“Anyway, if we look at the big picture this is for the general welfare because we have removed the nuisances that endanger our traveling public and our constituents here,” he added.
Estella said the Capitol already announced the cutting of seven defective trees along the highway of Naga.
However, when the cutting started at around 9am, the vehicles already piled up in Barangay Tinaan. There was a diversion road from Barangay Inoburan to Tinaan-just a little over the section where the
targeted trees were located.
For the southbound vehicles, however, only motorcycles can pass. For the city-bound motorists, no buses were able to get through.
Hence, the passengers of big buses forced to cut their trips. Some of them, who are students and workers in Cebu City, rode motorcycles for hire to bring them to the buses or jeepneys in the other side of
the street. Some just walked through.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 was the lead agency in cutting the trees in coordination with Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the City of Naga.
The personnel of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and PENRO also helped.
Director Engr. Ador Canlas said they decided to cut the trees during daytime taking into account the safety of their personnel.
DPWH is now considering to remedy the traffic situation. Of the seven defective trees due for destruction, only two were torn down yet, and three were pruned.
The cutting will resume today (August 5) again starting from 9am to 4pm.
While the cutting caused inconvenience to the travelling public, some residents of Barangay Tinaan do not want the trees to be destroyed. But they also admitted that they were relieved now from
the danger it poses.
“Pero ang kahoy mamatay man gyud tungod sa iyang gidugayon. Simbakog matumba unya naay tawo. Patay ,” said Agrifina Unabia Basalo
Basalo said she was born and raised in the barangay for already 83 years. She said since childhood the trees in the area were already
Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong said the trees have sentimental value for the city residents including him.
But they really needed to cut the trees as these hinder the development in the southern part of the province.
At around 3pm, Priest Activist Fr. Robert Reyes stole the headlines as he attempted to climb one of the pruned trees to show his protest.
Chiong said they are willing to sit down with Fr. Reyes but the cutting of the trees should continue. “Daghan na baya ang nahasol (Many people were already disturbed),” he said.
The woods will be turned to the custody of DENR as agreed by the agencies and the local government units in a meeting with Governor
Hilario P. Davide III at the Capitol.