A huge acacia tree, believed to be decades old, and located at the Ninoy Aquino Freedom Park in front of the Capitol in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, will be cut to prevent accidents that would harm motorists, strollers or passers-by.

The activity is under the close supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources after the status of the tree was assessed, Adrian Sedillo of the Capitol said .

He said the General Services Office, headed by Berchman Patrimonio, had applied for a tree-cutting permit with the DENR to chop down the tree as it is already dying and poses a threat to the public.

Patrimonio wrote to Community Environment and Natural Resources officer in charge Efren Rombawa on September 16 to allow the pruning of the tree meantime, since the approval of the tree-cutting permit has to come from the DENR regional office in Cebu, Sedillo said.

Rombawa said in consideration of the Buglasan, CENRO recommended the supervised pruning of the tree.

Sedillo said the tree has apparently been under the DENR’s inventory list, and is designated Tree No. 28. It was still standing as of yesterday, but smaller branches and leaves have been snipped off by the GSO.

Governor Roel Degamo also ordered the pruning of top-heavy trees as part of the efforts for disaster mitigation, especially with the onset of the rainy season and the increasing number of weather disturbances in the country in recent months.*JFP