Group submits recommendation for ordinance protecting heritage trees in Davao City

Published February 3, 2021, 10:05 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – Environment group Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) said they have submitted their recommendation for a proposed ordinance on heritage trees here to members of the city council.

In a statement on Wednesday, Feb.3, IDIS said their recommendation is based on the Citizen Science Project entitled “Save Heritage Trees: Mapping the Urban Heritage Trees in Davao City through Citizen Science.”

The group said they submitted the recommendations to City Councilors Pilar Braga and Diosdado Mahipus, Jr.

It said the proposed ordinance, titled “Save Heritage Trees of Davao City”, “aims to protect all urban heritage trees and non-heritage trees” in the city.

“Salient points of the ordinance include the criteria in identifying heritage and non-heritage trees. It also prohibits cutting or destroying the duly recognized heritage trees and non-heritage trees, applying any herbicide or other harmful chemicals on it, and other illegal activities that may harm the said trees,” it said.

A committee hearing for the said ordinance is scheduled to be held Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the City Environment and Natural Resources has started its rehabilitation and replacement of dead trees on the center islands along Ecoland Drive here. Sixteen acacia trees will be cut down along the center islands located at the corner of the St. John Paul II College to corner Ecowest Drive in Ecoland, Matina here.

“Unang-una ang kining traffic mabawasan na tapos ikaduha ang kanang center island magdungag pa man pod tag pananom pod naa may mga nabanakte so maimprove nato ang kining sa mo capture sa greenhouse gases, specifically sa kanang mga mobile vehicle naga-agi diha ma-capture nya, mabawasan gyud

(First, the traffic congestion will be lessened, second, we will add more plants because the lot will be vacated so we can also improve the capture of greenhouse gases specially those emitted by mobile vehicles passing along that area),” said Christopher B. Asibal, chief of the Upland Community Projects and Forest Management Section during last Sunday’s episode of the city government’s news magazine program, Byaheng Do30.

Asibal added that healthy trees will not be cut down.

“Kung mahimo dili gyud na putlon, kana lang mga patay kuhaon mao gyud nay objective ana kay lisod na nga mamutol ta init baya ang panahon karon kailangan tag kahoy nga dagko, kay kana sya pangidaron nga kahoy mao nana ang iyang pangidaron nga kusog mocapture og pollutants,”

(If it’s possible, we would not cut it. Only the dead trees will be cut down, that’s the objective because it is very difficult to cut down trees these days. We need big trees to lessen the heat. With their old age, they can efficiently capture pollutants.)

Asibal also said they will replace 50 trees for each tree that will be cut down.

“Kanang 16 ka punoan naa pod tay replacement plan, ang replacement plan ana kay naa man sa balaod nga kung moputol ka og isa ka punoang nga kahoy labi na kung tinanom, 50 pod ka puno ang imong ipuna kibale ana i-replace (We have a replacement plan and that is pursuant to the law that when you cut a tree, you will plant 50 trees as replacement),” he said.