Following an investigation conducted by the regional office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has approved the request of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Catanduanes Engineering Office to cut 129 trees for a road-widening project along Luyang Cave Park in San Andres town.
Engr. Jerry R. Arena, who was recently designated as officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), informed DPWH District Engineer Gil Augustus A. Balmadrid that a Special Tree Cutting Permit (STCP) has been granted to the DPWH covering the 129 trees which are inside Alienable and Disposable (A&D) Land.
Forty other trees, which were found to be within the Timberland, will have to be covered by a memorandum of agreement between the two agencies.
PENRO Arena advised the DPWH to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, including the payment of forest charges for the cutting of the premium, furniture and construction species with an aggregate volume of 30.841 cubic meters.
Under a 2012 DENR Administrative Order, road right-of-way rehabilitation, widening of roads, airstiprs and other infrastructure projects undertaken by government entities are not covered by the suspension of tree cutting permits.
The cutting, tree removal and relocation operations, including turnover and transport of logs, will have to be done under the presence and close supervision of PENRO Catanduanes.
The logs, lumber and tree parts will be temporarily stockpiled at the DPWH compound, to be turned over to PENRO for proper disposition in accordance with existing guidelines.
Pursuant to the same administrative order, the DPWH is required to replace each tree to be cut with 100 seedlings, with the required 12,900 seedlings of indigenous species with at least one meter in height to be planted by the agency in an identified site in support of the National Greening Program (NGP).
The planted seedlings shall be maintained by the permittee for three years to ensure a survival rate of 80%, with replacement planting done even prior to tree cutting.
DE Balmadrid expressed his agency’s gratitude to the DENR and informed that it already has 18,000 tree seedlings ready for planting as replacement for the trees to be cut at Luyang Cave Park.