MASTER-CUTTER. In 2009, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) headed by then Sec. Lito Atienza issued a permit on April 22 to the Department of Public Works and Highways to cut 5,446 trees in Pampanga and Tarlac province, said an Inquirer story written by Ms. Tonette Orejas.
Recently, the DENR issued a permit to Donggwang Clark Corp. (DCC), developer of a 304-hectare leisure and tourism project, to cut trees on a small mountain at Clark Freeport. “Environmentalists cry degradation,” Punto’s banner story on its July 27-28 issue.
Clark Development Corp. was quick to defend itself and its investor: “DCC was cited by DENR for ‘strict compliance’ to environmental laws in connection with the nearly finished erosion mitigating project.” It even cited the case of SCTEx [Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway] saying “it is safe based on engineering studies”.
So safety, even if it is harmful to the environment, could now be used as basis to scrape the whole mountain and kill hundreds of trees?
DENR, a government agency tasked to protect and preserve the environment, has never been popular except in granting permits to cut not only one but thousands of trees.
“We plant, they kill,” says a volunteer who recently joined the ‘1 Million Trees project’ of Mayor Ed Pamintuan in Angeles City. Why do we call them public servants then?
“The CDC and the DENR had not learned from the tragedies in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan cities in December last year attributed to the massive cutting of trees which caused erosions and flashfloods at the height of Typhoon Sendong, killing more than 1,200 people,” said Cecile Yumul, convenor of the Save the Trees Coalition, during a press conference.
Just a few days after the press conference, heavy rains poured and flooded metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon including some towns and cities in Pampanga.
Lessons are often learned the hard way but ordinary Filipinos like us suffer the most from their wrongdoings.
To prevent more flooding caused by typhoons and heavy rains, some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) here in Doha, Qatar suggest it would be better to “abolish DENR and curse CDC officials for praising a stupid move of cutting trees amid climate change”.
Filipinos will accept it with alacrity. Things of no use (walang gamit) should be junked.
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WONTED HEROISM. To the rescue too are OFWs.
Those who work here in the Middle East spend the whole afternoon and early evening chatting with their love ones affected by floods in the Philippines. It’s a good thing that the month-long Ramadan allowed them to leave early, working for only six hours every day (7 a.m. 1 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Since most of them have no savings, they apply for loans and once approved, they troop to remittance centers and send additional money to their families.
While paying these loans, they cut their budget on food and transportation. Bread, canned goods and noodles would be enough meals for at least a week or two or until the next payday.
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ONE PINGPONG. Congratulations to the Angeles University Foundation (Angeles City) and University of the Assumption Table Tennis (City of San Fernando) teams for placing 8th and 16th respectively in the recently held 2nd Tuna Festival National Tournament held on Sept. 1-2, 2012 in SM-General Santos City.
Mark Lester Huab of Angeles City won the 3rd place in the Boys 17 under category.
More than 30 teams and 300 players from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao joined the national competition organized by the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines led by its chairman, Jacinto Ruiz-Omila Jr.
AUF coach Rochelle Lingat lauded Mr. Omila and the rest of the organizers for a well organized and successful event.
“Thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality. You made us feel that we are really ONE in PINGPONG.
‘Till the next tuna fest tourney, we really enjoyed our stay there. Kakamiss na. Thanks! – from the AUF team. God bless us all.”
Men’s Team: Champion – Cebu City, 1st runner up-Makati Panthers, 2nd runner up – Spin Davao and Bacolod Royal Paddle.
Women’s Team: Champion – UP Diliman, 1st runner up-Makati Panthers, 2nd runner up- Gensan/ TATAG and Davao City.
Boys 13-Under: Champion – Lyen Carek Garcia (Cotabato City), 1st runner up – Marc Joseph M. Diazon (Gensan/ TATAG), 2nd runner up – Hance Patoc (Tacurong City) and Jorge David Bugahod (Cotabato City).
Girls 13-under: Champion – Mikaela Mhikaella Ricanor (Makati Panthers, 1st runner up-Nina Suarez (Gensan/ TATAG ), 2nd runners up – Mylene Alonto (Cotabato City) and Ms. Bubongan.
Boys 17-under: Champion – Val Stephen Jaca (Cebu City), 1st runner up – Dan Tormis (Cebu City), 2nd Runner up – Lemuel Agbon (Cebu City) and Mark Lester Huab-Angeles City, Pampanga. Girls 17-under: Champion – Rowena Morales (UP-Diliman), 1st runner up – Jom Sibal (UP-Diliman), 2nd runner up – Mikaela Ricanor (Makati Panthers) and Mary Rose Ganiwan (South Cotabato ).
50-Above (special event): Champion – Benjie Hilado (Gensan/ TATAG ), 1st runner up – Joseph Tan (Gensan/ TATAG), 2nd runner up – Edwin Yeo (Gensan/ TATAG).