One poem that is well remembered by many is Joyce Kilmer’s TREES.
Remember these lines?
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
651 of God’s given trees are scheduled to be cut to give way to road widening in Naga city. Most of these 651 giant trees are about 40-70 years old. Some of these trees include Narra, Mango, Acacia, Mahogany and Talisay varieties.
The city is now divided between the road widening proponents and those who want to save the trees.
The group of the Naga City People’s Council is more inclined to the advocacy of preserving the trees-emphasizing that what the [Naga City] government is doing is the opposite of its much-vaunted National Greening Program, in which the DENR has boasted to have planted at least 1.5 billion trees, starting in 2011 and to end in 2016.
On the other hand, quoting Camarines Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Chief Arnel Rodriguez, “I see nothing wrong with the condemnation of the trees to give way to the widening … Yes, my office will issue the corresponding permit to cut.”
651 trees may be an insignificant number to DPWH which is used to bulldozing thousands of trees to giveway to roads and highways. It maybe a small number to DENR/PENRO which is used to giving permits to DPWH for such projects, but these giant trees are irreplaceable even if DPWH professes to plant new trees after the road widening construction.
It will take decades before these trees grow mature enough to provide shade once more to the busy national highways of Naga city.
A Petition by MISSION Naga:
TREES ARE LIFE!
Trees provide us with oxygen for free!
In the urban areas, they control pollution - air pollution, noise pollution, and visual pollution.
Trees provide shade and is A sweet respite to all bikers.
Trees in the city moderate the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings.
The larger the trees, the greater the cooling!
Trees clear your mind and reduce stress.
Trees act as windbreaks.
Trees absorb carbon, the largest greenhouse gas!
Trees fight soil erosion.
Trees deflect the downward fall of rain, providing some protection to people, pets and even structures. Trees intercept water; help reduce storm runoff and the possibility of flooding.
Mature trees with branches arching over the pavement make your kids stare with awe and wonder! Trees make life more pleasant!
We feel serene, peaceful, restful and tranquil in a grove of trees.
And to add, policies may be made by humans but only God can make trees.
DPWH should be reminded of Sec. 3 P.D. 953 provides that: “Any person who cuts, destroys, damages or injures, naturally growing or planted trees of any kind, flowering or ornamental plants and shrubs, or plants of scenic, aesthetic and ecological values, along public roads, in plazas, parks other than national parks, school premises or in any other public ground or place, or on banks of rivers or creeks, or along roads in land subdivisions or areas therein for the common use of the owners of lots therein, or any species of vegetation or forest cover found therein shall, be punished with imprisonment for not less than six months and not more than two years, or a fine of not less than five hundred pesos and not more than five thousand pesos, or with both such imprisonment and fine at the discretion of the court, except when the cutting, destroying, damaging or injuring is necessary for public safety or the pruning thereof is necessary to enhance beauty, and only upon the approval of the duly authorized representative of the head of agency or political subdivision having jurisdiction therein, or of the Director of Forest Development in the case of trees on banks of rivers and creeks, or of the owner of the land subdivision in the case of trees along roads and in other areas therein for the common use of owners of lots therein…Further, Republic Act 3571 prescribes that: SECTION 1. In order to promote and conserve the beauty of objects of scenic and ornamental value along public places and help preserve cool, fresh and healthful climate, it is the policy of the Government to cherish, protect and conserve planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of ornamental value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises or in any public ground.
Does an agency mandated to improve infrastructure simply gain absolution for the abuse of our natural resources in pretense of development? Does DENR condone the DPWH for its pending destruction to nature? Isn’t DENR precisely the government agency tasked to prevent crimes against nature??