Trees are not covered by President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to clear roads of obstructions, the Department of Interior and Local Government said.
DILG-6 Regional Director Ariel Iglesia made the clarification following reports that some LGUs cut down trees to comply with Duterte’s orders.
Iglesia said local government units should first coordinate with the concerned agencies before hacking down plants that grow alongside roads (https://dailyguardian.com.ph/spare-trees-from-road-clearing-works/).
He added road widening is different from the road clearing operations that was ordered by Duterte in July 2019.
Iglesia said LGUs should first coordinate with concerned agencies like the Department of Environment and Natura Resources before cutting trees that obstruct the roads.
Recently, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the road-clearing order should not be used for the purpose of road widening and cutting of century-old trees situated along roads.
Año noted the memorandum was cited in removing trees and demolishing waiting sheds that do not even obstruct major roads.
Duterte’s road-clearing deadline ended last Sept. 29. Iglesia said that the validation team already started validating the reports of the LGUs since Monday.
The validation is expected to finish within the week, Iglesia added.