I understand that, often enough, trees are often the victims of progress.
Almost a decade ago, the
was built in the Ateneo campus, which necessitated the cutting down of a row of venerable acacia trees. Originally, the plan was to ball the trees and move them, but, apparently the trees were just too massive to be moved in such a fashion. Instead, they were just cut down. Moro Lorenzo Sports Center
A few years back, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) head Bayani Fernando attempted to cut down the trees along
Katipunan Avenue, to widen the road for better traffic flow. Concerned members of the area protested long and hard, and, fortunately, most of the trees were spared.
What I don’t understand is when trees are cut down in the name of beautification.
Such was the case in my subdivision when the subdivision board decided to build sidewalks all over the subdivision early this year, as a beautification project. We were informed that we would have to pay for the installment of the sidewalk along the fronts of our houses.
What we weren’t informed about was that any tree in the way would be cut down. I saw evidence of this when I saw that some of the trees leading to the gate exiting to Commonwealth Avenue were cut down, one of them a relatively old tree. When I mentioned this to the board secretary, about whether it was right to cut down the trees, she blithely said that there weren’t that many trees to be cut down, and that the board apparently got permission from the barangay hall to do so (isn’t permission supposed to be obtained from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)?).
Last week, I saw several houses with red ribbons tied around their trees and signs protesting the tree cutting. Yesterday, I learned from a friend that there was going to be a motorcade that morning as a visible sign of protest.
During the motorcade, I was able to obtain a letter the protesters were distributing to households. It turns out that last week, men hired by the board began cutting down trees along a stretch of subdivision road. One of the casualties, I found out to my dismay yesterday, was a golden shower tree which Hazel and I admired. Accompanying the men and armed with a shotgun was one of the security guards, presumably to protect the men from being stopped from their job. Fortunately, a senior member of the community was able to stop the men before the damage spread, but the damage was already done.
I’m not sure if the protesters met with the board to voice their dissent; from the tone of their letter implies that they have, and their demands were rejected. Hence, the motorcade.It passed the street behind our house this morning, and it was a long one. Maybe the show of force will compel the board to rethink their stand, maybe not. But the point was made.
I cannot understand the way the subdivision board is thinking. Don’t trees beautify their surroundings? Why cut them down?
Okay, so the sidewalks are nice and uniform. But they're also quite dangerous after a strong rain; a mossy growth covers them, making them slippery and injury-prone.
We have a personal stake in this. When Gabby was baptized in UP, we were given a mahogany sapling, which we planted in front of the house; Gabby calls it her “Gabby tree.” While I think it’s outside the one meter width for the sidewalk, I’m not taking any chances. I’m tying red ribbons outside our house.