MAASIN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) field office here has recently planted 51,779 trees in watershed areas in Southern Leyte province replacing 1,492 trees cut due to road widening projects in 2017.
The massive tree planting activity replaced the 429 trees uprooted in Maasin City, 418 in Libagon, 317 in Macrohon, 133 in Sogod, 112 in Bontoc, 64 in Tomas Oppus, and 19 in Malitbog town.
A memorandum of agreement has been entered into between DPWH and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding mechanisms on the replacement of felled trees.
“As agreed with the DENR, the DPWH is bound to replace 50 trees for each felled tree planted in private or forest land and 100 trees for each naturally grown tree affected by road works,” said Southern Leyte District Engineer Ma. Margarita Junia.
The DPWH invested about P3.2 million for the replacement of trees cut by road projects in 2017.
Also, DENR has identified 9.69 hectares, an area set aside to replace cut trees in last year’s infrastructure projects.
Plantation of 16,153 seedlings with an allocation of P732,000 is now ongoing.
DENR has deputized farmers’ association of the respective towns to cultivate the newly planted seedlings, ensuring at least 85 percent survival rate.
A team from DPWH was formed to monitor the replanted trees.
“Every time we implement projects, we always consider the environmental impacts. We cannot immediately proceed with the construction without properly addressing them,” Junia said.
Junia vowed to continue the DPWH’s active involvement in different activities of DENR such as tree planting and clean-up drive. (PR)