Cebu BRT project: 28,000 seedlings to replace cut trees

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The proponents of the Metro Cebu Bus Rapid Transit will need to produce and maintain at least 28,000 seedlings for the implementation of the project.

This is among the requirements set by the Environment Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) when it finally issued an Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the mass transport system that is expected to be operational by 2018.

BRT project manager Rafael Yap told reporters in an interview that there are about 2,000 trees which will be cut from proposed busways, mostly along Osmena Boulevard and N. Bacalso Avenue.

As a replacement, the EMB-7 has asked the BRT project proponents to produce 28,000 seedlings which will subsequently be monitored periodically by the EMB until its eventual planting and growing.

“Colored pictures showing the successful nursery and tree plantation area shall be submitted to this office every 6 months thereafter upon the release of this ECC,” reads the ECC dated May 08, 2015 and approved by Fernando Quililan, EMB-7 regional director.

The tree cutting permits, also a requirement in the ECC, has been on hold since last month because of the lack of signature from the Department of Public Works and Highways secretary, who had earlier halted several road projects affecting century-old trees.

The BRT’s ECC was sought by Assistant Secretary Jaime Raphael Feliciano of the Depaprtment Of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Yap promised that they will coordinate with the DENR before the trees are cut.

Aside from the Tree Cutting Permits, the ECC also require the BRT project to secure a Building Permit, an FMB Permit, an Environmental and Sanitation Permit, and a Disposal Permit.

“This ECC becomes valid only after all necessary permits have been secured prior to project implementation,” Quililan said.

The identified stations or bus stops in the segregated busway routes of the BRT in Metro Cebu include:

The other BRT route has bus stops or stations at: