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Cutting of dead trees not opposed.

LINGAYEN -- The provincial government did not oppose the cutting of girdled trees along sections of the Manila North Road (MNR) in eastern Pangasinan province. But it asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to first certify that the trees were beyond revival.

Gov. Amado Espino Jr. conveyed this message in a letter to the DENR and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which intended to displace these trees to make way for the MNRs expansion.

"We wish to make it clear that we are absolutely against the cutting of any more living and surviving trees along the [MNR], and we maintain the position that concerned government agencies, such as the DENR, should exert all means to treat and rehabilitate those previously girdled trees that have a good chance of survival," Espino wrote.

"At any rate, we dont want to be made as convenient scapegoats and be blamed for any road accident that may occur as a result of the unpredictable collapse of the trees," he said.

Last month, the DPWH district engineer sought the DENRs clearance to cut 127 dead trees along the MNR, saying these already posed a danger to motorists because they could fall anytime.

The girdled trees were part of the 770 surviving trees that were spared when the DPWHs permit to cut 1,829 trees expired in February 2014.

The DPWH applied for another tree-cutting permit but environmental groups asked a court in Urdaneta City to issue an environmental protection order to spare the trees. The court has yet to decide on the case.

Girdling is a process of removing bark around the tree trunk to block nutrients collected by its leaves from reaching its root system. On March 2, the DENR and the DPWH conducted an inventory of dead trees along the MNR to determine their exact location.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 9, 2015
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