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Iloilo City council stops cutting of trees for road widening projects

ILOILO CITY, May 29 -– Members of the entire city council here stopped the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from cutting trees and continuing its road widening project along General Luna St. located at the city proper here.

This was the consensus of majority of city councilors who attended a dialogue Wednesday with DPWH district engineer Rodney Gustilo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) city chief Ildefonso Tuliva and city agriculturist Geraldine Hautea on the cutting down of several heritage trees along General Luna St. for the road widening project.

Councilor Joshua Alim said the project can not proceed without an issued authority from the city council through a resolution to the DENR in allowing the cutting down of trees.

Alim said the city council virtually stopped the road widening project at Gen. Luna St. by issuing a resolution last month for DPWH to stop cutting the trees directly affected by the project.

The city councilor said the trees are priceless and some of these are more than 60 years old already planted in the center island as carbon sink of gas fumes from motor vehicles. The trees also serve as shade canopy that beautifies the city highway, he added.

The DPWH is widening the street from four to six lanes by cutting and reducing the center islands, thereby cutting down the trees that stand within the expanded lane.

Meanwhile, DENR, under its mandate, will not allow trees to be cut down without approval from the city council. (PNA)

LAM/AJP/LCP/VLO/UTB

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