There's Still Time to Save the Acacia Trees in Negros Occidental
An online petition is making the rounds to stop the cutting of trees in Abuanan Road, Bago City.
(SPOT.ph) Abuanan Road in Bago City, Negros Occidental is well known for the multitude of acacia trees that lines its perimeter and forms a beautiful canopy. Some of these trees were recently pruned by the Department of Public Works and Highways contractor to make way for a road widening project that would connect it to the New Bacolod Economic Highway. Fortunately, Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, head of Bago City's Community Environment and Natural Resources Office announced on July 10 that the cutting of the acacia trees along Abuanan Road has been stopped.
Gerangaya explained that when the Department of Energy and Natural Resources grants a party permission to cut trees, representatives from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) must be present during the cutting to ensure that it is done properly. According to Gerangaya, CENRO was informed that the acacia tree branches were cut off with a backhoe. An online petition to stop the cutting of the 271 trees was launched on Saturday, July 10, in an attempt to persuade the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from cutting Abuanan Road’s trees. As of today, July 11, 4,488 people have signed the petition.
Abuanan Road's acacia trees in their former glory.
More than 100 of these trees were planted 31 years ago by volunteers of the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement, to commemorate Japanese-Philippine relations.
The unsanctioned cutting of a portion of Abuanan Road’s acacia trees is a violation of Presidential Decree No. 705, or the Forestry Code of the Philippines. Gerangaya says that charges will be filed against those responsible for cutting down the trees without the DENR's approval.