DepEd 7 orders cutting of trees in campuses posing as hazards to studes, teachers

CEBU CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) — The Department of Education (DepEd) 7 has issued a directive requiring schools to remove hazardous trees within their campuses.

DepEd 7 Director Carmelita Dulangon said this was decided to avoid incidents of these trees falling on students and teachers.

Dulangon said her directive has been disseminated to division schools superintendents in the entire Central Visayas.

But Dulangon said the school heads should secure special tree cutting permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7.

DENR 7 spokesperson Eddie Llamedo said the agency is willing to assist DepEd, especially as this concerns the safety of students.

“As of the moment, our agency has not received any request from them. But it will go through the same process as cutting trees along the roads. An assessment will be done on the condition of the trees; a tree inventory will be done,” Llamedo said.

He said certifications from the school principal, barangay and local government unit chiefs have to be obtained showing they do not object to the cutting of the defective tree.

Llamedo said speedier action will be done for “institutional request” from the office of Dulangon, enumerating the schools and identifying trees of concern based on initial assessment by school officials.

“The initial list from the regional office of DepEd will be the basis of the tree assessment and inventory of our foresters. This way, we can prioritize the ones in most dangerous condition,” Llamedo said.

The special tree cutting permit applications will then be forwarded to the DENR Central Office for approval as the regional offices are not authorized to issue such permits.

Dulangon recalled an instance when she was still the division superintendent of Talisay City where two students were hospitalized after an old tree fell and hit them.

She said she did not want the same to happen again, which is why she has ordered the clearing of defective and hazardous trees in schools. (PNA)