DENR ‘does not know what it is doing’
The Inquirer report on the cutting of trees at Bonifacio Global City (“500 trees must go to widen Taguig road,” 7/20/18) simply shows once again that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) does not know what it is doing.
DENR-NCR Regional Director Jacqueline Caancan ordered the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to plant 21,250 seedlings in BGC, but did not specify where they will be planted inside the former Fort Bonifacio to compensate for the almost 500 trees along Lawton Avenue that would be taken out for the
Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) road-widening project.
What should be planted to compensate are saplings and not seedlings. Saplings are at least 3 feet or 1 meter in height, compared to the “dwarf” seedlings that are just 1 to 2 feet in height.
For “compensatory afforestation,” 10 saplings for every mature tree cut should suffice. Hence, 5,000 saplings of at least 2 meters in height should compensate for the 500 trees to be cut, instead of the ludicrous 21,250 seedlings where obviously some people will surely be making some money.
On the road widening at Lawton Avenue, the P407-million project is typical of the corruption at the DPWH that has sadly continued under the two years of the Duterte administration. Lawton Avenue is only a little over 3 kilometers in length, and the road widening should not even cost more than P100 million. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar should explain how it reached the project cost of more than P400 million.
RICARDO B. RAMOS, executive director, InfraWatch
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