Manila North Road tree-cutting: This town mayor loves trees but…
Binalonan, Pangasinan mayor Ramon Guico III is a nature lover, or so he claims, and does not want to see trees cut down wantonly.
But when human lives are at stake, the mayor said trees will have to go.
Guico has welcomed the issuance of a special tree-cutting permit issued to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the long-delayed road widening of the Manila North Road (MNR).
With the permit issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DPWH has until 45 days upon the receipt of the special permit to cut or earth-ball the remaining trees.
The trees, numbering around 500, would be cut down to give way for the widening of the stretch of MNR in the towns of Pozorrubio, Binalonan and Sison.
Guico pointed out that the cost of cutting down 589 trees along the MNR could not surpass the value of human lives.
“I am for trees. I love nature…. I would rather see green than cold bricks and concrete,” Guico said in a Sunday Punch report.
“But there’s a place for everything and what’s for the road is, for the road,” he stressed.
“There’s a proper place for trees,” he said.
He said that with the permit, the municipal government can now proceed with their other local infrastructure projects along the roads connected to MNR.
Guico insisted that travelling along the tree-lined highway is dangerous, especially at night, if the trees will not be removed when MNR is widened.
“Why don’t we focus on the wanton cutting of trees in the upland rather than tree cutting for road widening in lowlands like along the MNR,” Guico asked.
The Binalonan mayor’s sentiments, however, is not shared by Pangasinan Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, who earlier vowed to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
Calimlim complained that the provincial government was not consulted when DENR gave the go-signal to cut the trees.
“It appears that the DPWH is only after its interests. What about our interests and the interests of the people of Pangasinan who value these trees? Calimlim questioned.
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