BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR) will pursue the planting of assorted tree species in public lands, not only in the city, but also in other parts of the region as part of the government’s effort to sustain the preservation and protection of the environment serving as soil erosion control and source of water for the populace.
DENR-CAR Regional Director Ralph Pablo informed local legislators the agency is spearheading the planting of trees in forest reservations, military reservations, government-owned lands, parks and public places, if applicants for the issuance of tree cutting permits decide to turnover to the office the replacement trees of the trees that will be cut.
He added that in case applicants decide to plant the trees by themselves and they do not have any planting area, the agency will identify the planting site for them.
The DENR-CAR official pointed out that the primary reason why the replacement trees are planted in public lands is to allow the monitoring of the growth of the trees for them to survive and service their purpose.
Under existing rules and regulations, applicants of tree cutting permits are required to plant replacement trees which is 1:50 for planted trees and 1:100 for natural grown trees.
Earlier, the local legislative body invited DENR-CAR officials to shed light on the reported cutting of trees in private properties in the different parts of the city and whether or not the applicants for tree-cutting permits complied with the conditions of their permits to plant replacement trees as compensatory requirement for the issuance of said permits.
In the case of the 2,450 tree seedlings that were turned over by the management of Moldex Realty, Inc. as replacement of the 49 trees that were cut in their private property along Marcos highway, Pablo claimed the said number of trees plus additional tree seedlings from the agency’s nursery were planted by elements of the Presidential Security Group within the premises of the Mansion House last May 24, 2019.
Pablo explained to the local legislators that applicants for the issuance of tree-cutting permits can turnover to the agency the required replacement trees which will be temporarily taken cared of by the agency’s personnel in its nursery awaiting for the proper planting time.
The DENR central office is mandated to issue tree-cutting permits for applicants wanting to cut naturally planted trees and planted trees that are more than 50 while the DENR-CAR regional office is empowered to issue permits to applicants intending to cut naturally grown trees that are less than 50.
On the other hand, local chief executives are also authorized under existing laws, rules and regulations to issue tree cutting permits to applicants for the cutting of trees that are dead or those trees that pose eminent danger to life and property.
However, prior to the issuance of the tree-cutting permits by the DENR-CAR, applicants have to secure barangay and mayor’s clearances from the concerned local governments to serve as supporting permits for the documents that will be issued for the said purpose.
By Dexter A. See