Thursday, May 24, 2018

DPWH spares century-old trees along Ilocos Norte nat’l hi-way


By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Some century-old acacia trees located along the national highway in Ilocos Norte’s second district are not likely to be cut yet even if there is an on-going road clearing operation within the right of way.

According to 2nd district engineer Mathias Malenab, there are trees along the right of way which they should cut but due to a very tedious process of securing permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it may take a longer time before they grant an application for tree cutting permit.

Last year, he said the DPWH conducted an inventory of trees along the national highway and submitted it to the regional office. However, up to this time, the DENR has yet to act on it. 

“Please bear with us. We painted them [trees] for visibility purposes. Kung minsan, ayaw tanggalin because they are part of the landscape kaya hindi rin namin tinantanggal. Nakapanghihinayang naman na tanggalin dahil 100 years old na,” Mr. Malenab admitted.

Under the law, the DENR and its attached agencies have the sole jurisdiction on approving tree-cutting permits. Applicants need to secure a letter application, an endorsement letter or certification of no objection from the local government units, copy of land title for private property, photographs of trees to be removed and a site development plan and environmental compliance certificates (ECC) for big projects.

Earlier, environmentalist groups in Ilocos Norte including the Diocese of Laoag appealed to local authorities here to think and reconsider the cutting of trees and ensure that not to compromise the welfare of the environment over infrastructure development.

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