DENR allows LGU to cut century-old acacia trees

Published April 13, 2018, 7:26 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has granted the municipality of Sibulan in Negros Oriental a permit to cut three naturally-grown century-old acacia trees after they were identified as hazardous and dangerous to lives and limbs.

The local government unit (LGU) had asked for the cutting of these trees, while another tree is subject to pruning, said Sibulan senior administrative officer III Iris Indira Requiron-Puspus on Thursday.

She said the LGU was granted a permit to cut the three century-old acacia trees by the national office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on February 2018.The permit, which has an expiration period of 50 days, was received on March 2, 2018 by the mayor’s office .

The specific acacia trees to be cut have a total gross volume of 28.91 cubic meters and a net volume of 20.24 cubic meters, while the fourth one for pruning is 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 Jose Abiera because its big branches are inclined towards 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,” Puspus quoted the mayor as saying.

The Sibulan LGU clarified that all the procedures had been undertaken for the tree-cutting, 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. These would be donated to the nearest DENR office in support of the National Greening Program (NGP) and on 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, specifically on the total volume of timber harvested and the seedling replacement together with maps in shape file format of the area planted with 300 seedlings.

It shall also be the responsibility of the local DENR/CENRO office to monitor the permittee’s compliance with the terms and conditions stipulated under the permit issued.

The permittee is also required to undertake measures during and after cutting and pruning operations to ease the possible impacts of the said activity to the locality and to the environment.