By Eddie O. Barrita
CEBU CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to release P100 million additional funding for the P1.25-billion widening of the national highway from Naga City to Carcar City in southern Cebu.
Former Cebu first district congressman Eduardo Gullas, who initiated the project, said the highway expansion is necessary to decongest traffic in the south.
Gullas said the project will benefit, aside from the Cebuanos, the Boholanos and Negrenses who pass the road on the way to Cebu City.
The project was delayed after environmentalists opposed the cutting of century-old trees to be affected by the road widening project.
Gullas said he also cares about the trees, but the decision whether to cut these trees or not will be made by the DPWH and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Isabelo R. Montejo, DENR 7 regional executive director, said no cutting of trees shall commence until the completion of the assessment, taking into consideration the social acceptability issue.
The DENR 7 said the project will affect a total of 155 trees with an aggregate volume of 192.77 cubic meters of different species, based on the May 11 and 16, 2013 inventory conducted by a joint team from DPWH and DENR.
Of these, 25 are century old acacia trees with a diameter ranging from 92 centimeters to 226 centimeters.
Of the 25 trees, nine were considered to be defective and hazardous.
One of them fell down two months ago, stopping traffic for ten hours in southern Cebu.
Barangays Tinaan, Inoburan and Langtad, all in Naga City, where these trees are located, have issued their respective resolutions interposing no objection on the cutting or earth-balling of the trees.
Montejo said the replacement of at least 13,800 native and indigenous seedlings should be undertaken first before the actual cutting. (PNA)