A Chinese proverbs says,
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years. The next best time is NOW.”
But for the past weeks, the whole nation has seen irresponsible and reckless cutting of age-old trees, most planted over a century ago. I think The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have gone nuts.
My belief is simple even a 6-year old kid can understand that
“DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRESS should not be opposed to CONSERVATION.”
In my hometown Los Banos along Makiling Road, this is what happened:
It was goosebumps every time I drive along pass Mati City, Davao Oriental near Menzi Farm when age-old Acacia trees are bulldozed for road widening project. If DPWH’s purpose for this road-widening project is to alleviate heavy traffic then this is pure bullshit because never did I saw these roads (PCCARD to Makiling Road in Los Banos and Mati City Road) ever experience moderate or heavy traffic. You can even experience
taking a selfie shot for 10-minutes on the PCCARD road without encountering any single vehicle. I wanted to tell everyone that while I believe that some roads need to be widen and rehabilitated, there are many roads in the Philippines that needs more trees than widening.
Personally, these trees have given me shade when I run, bike or drive pass them. They have become my natural air-conditioning in the summer heat and flood protection in times of storm. Now they are gone. 🙁
Actually what we need are more trees on the roads to count the effects of global-warming and floods that always visit our country because we have cut the trees in the forests.
Sec. Ramon Paje in his Earth Day message said, “Because the causes of climate change have been identified to be more anthropogenic or manmade, than natural, cities as population centers have a pivotal role to play. If they are able to significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, we can slow down or possibly even reverse global warming and its cataclysmic impacts.”
I hope the Honorable DENR Secretary read takes his message to heart.
While other developing countries take very good care of their age-old trees, we cut them off and think that they are obstacles to progress. While they do everything they can to preserve and make it their heritage, we recklessly remove them out of our ways. What an utter disrespect to the old folks that planted these trees, to the birds and insects that made these trees their habitat and to the people who have greatly benefitted form their shade.
I join the call asking for Sec. Rogelio Singson and Sec. Ramon Jesus Paje to halt the cutting of these age-old trees until a review of this policy is undertaken. This review should provide a mechanism for genuine public consultation and a detailed scientific assessment the cutting of trees may have on the environment, especially with climate change and harder-hitting climate-related natural disasters. (Read the whole petition letter here: Stop Cutting Trees for Road-Widening Project)
I believe that there are more places where unneeded tree-cutting is happening too. Please comment below if you know of places where this is happening too. I’m hoping that the government would listen to the citizens they serve this time.
Thanks in advance for sharing this post!
Ending my 500th blog post with these quotes that hopefully be read to Secretaries Singson and Paje.
“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” –Robert Louis Stevenson
“Of all man’s works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that.” –Henry Ward Beecher
“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” –Martin Luther
Para saan pa ang tree-planting activities na ginagawa natin kung puputulin lang din pala natin ito?
Hope you can plant an endemic tree today!