By Mike Crismundo
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – The mayor of this town and officials of the Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday gave in to please to the plea of local leaders and non-government organizations to preserve the decaying “Centennial Toog Tree.”
“Yes, my stand is for the safety of the people and we will slowly do what is best,” said Mayor Solomon Rufila after a dialogue Tuesday with the groups calling for the iconic tree to be spared.
“We have to set aside the plan to immediately cut down the Centennial Toog tree amid suggestions by the DENR Forest and Wetland Research Development and Extension Center (FWRDEC) of its deteriorating condition,“ Rufila said.
Local government officials wanted the tree felled because its base has weakened to the point that it could collapse.
DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Jerome I. Albia in Bunawan had been asked by the DENR Caraga Regional Executive Director Felix S. Alicer to coordinate with San Francisco municipal government regarding the findings of the FWRDEC’s “biomechanics and structural analyses” on the Centennial Tree.