In behalf of the poor residents along the national road in Pililla, Rizal, where a road-widening project is being done, we rise in protest against the decision of the Department of Public Works and Highways, as announced by its contractor(s)/engineers, that the cost of restoring any structure to be hit by the project will be borne by the residents. In the two instances when this road was widened in the late 1960s and in the 1980s, the restoration of damaged structures, such as fences and pathways, was done by the contractor at no cost to the residents.
This is in reaction to Ernesto T. Solidum’s letter titled “In the conflict over cutting of trees, there are three sides” (Opinion, 9/18/14). His opinion regarding Green Research’s serious objections to the cutting of centuries-old and natural heritage trees along the Pangasinan Manila North Road is “emotional,” while the rationale of the Department of Public Works and Highways favoring the act to prevent road accidents is “practical.”
May I comment on the controversy surrounding the cutting of 1,050 trees along the 42-kilometer highway in Pangasinan by the Department of Public Works and Highways or its contractor on November 2013-February 2014. Serious objections were raised by Patricia Gwen Borcena, environmental activist and founding president of Green Research, on reasonable grounds that the felled trees were centuries-old and considered natural heritage. She said the next targets were 1,829 trees.
By Peter Wallace
Zero-based budgeting makes great sense, and has been successful. The old days of just adding and adding without thinking are gone (and the corruption-prone system of reenacting budgets has been abolished as well). Everything has to be reviewed as to whether it makes sense, as to whether it is really needed, and is correctly funded. Anything new has to be challenged as to its relevance and need.
By Neal H. Cruz
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje finally woke up and stopped the massacre of trees in road-widening projects—but only after thousands of mature trees have already been felled. As many as 1,059 trees have been cut in Pangasinan. More trees have been cut in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Bataan, Laguna, Iloilo, and other areas. Indeed, there seems to be an indecent haste to cut as many trees as fast as possible in spite of protests by local residents and environmental groups. Any tree on the side of a road is in danger.