DENR denies request to cut trees for Cebu bus project
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The regional environment office in Cebu has denied a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) request for permission to cut at least 300 trees along major thoroughfares in Cebu City for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
Dr Isabelo Montejo, regional executive director of DENR-7, said in a news briefing on Friday, May 15, that the regional DENR office has denied the request to allow the cutting of the trees, and returned it to DPWH last month.
Montejo explained that this is because the request did not bear the signature of approval of Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson.
In a press briefing in Argao town, Montejo told reporters that his office has denied several tree cutting permits for projects including the BRT, and road projects in the South Road and at the M. Velez street in Cebu near the capitol building.
Montejo conducted an inspection of reforestation projects in Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental.
The BRT is a much-awaited project of the Cebu City government that is expected to ease traffic congestion.
The project is the first of its kind and will be patterned after the BRT system in Curitba, Brazil where a specialized mass transportation bus with an exclusive lane will ferry passengers just like a train but cheaper in operational costs.
With around 176 buses, the Cebu bus rapid transit would run through dedicated and exclusive bus ways from Bulacao to Talamban, Cebu, with a link to Cebu’s South Road Property. The buses would also traverse Cebu City’s business districts, residential areas, shopping centers, and key tourist sites. – Rappler.com