(PN File Photo)

The Community Environment and Natural resources Office (CENRO) in Puerto Princesa City said they will not collect any fees for cutting or clearing planted uprooted trees that were felled by typhoon Odette inside private properties. CENRO instead told property owners just to inform the office writing if they wish to clear the trees on their own or will need assistance.

Under the current post-Typhoon Odette conditions, trees felled by the storm are being placed under the custody of barangay officials to prevent hoarding and illegally obtaining timber. Barangay officials can also offer to clear and cutting services to those who need the services of registered chainsaws.

Property owners are free to clear their own fallen trees if they have the right equipment, according to CENRO chief Felizardo Cayatoc. He added that the office only requires property owners to write a letter of intent detailing how they will do the clearing, whether it be with the use of a registered chainsaw on their own or they will need assistance from barangay officials.

A list of requirements CENRO gave to a resident who requested to remove Odette fallen trees from her home.

“Basta within private land, automatic puwede nilang i-clear. Siguraduhin lang na coordinated ang chainsaw na gagamitin nila. Kung tinanim ‘yan, kung doon lang nila gagamitin, puwede na ‘yon. Ang hinihiling lang namin ay i-inform kami,” Cayatoc said in a phone interview on Friday.

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Cayatoc added that they will only need to process more requirements if property owners plan to sell or transport the timber obtained from the fallen trees.

“Pag ita-transport nila [ang mga kahoy], kailangan na may transport permit,” he said.

Dealing with fallen trees became one of Puerto Princesa City’s woes after getting devastated by the typhoon. Not only did fallen trees cause widespread damage to homes and properties, but also became sources of tension on who could claim timber to rebuild homes.

Cutting trees in Palawan is highly regulated by environment authorities, and even obtaining chainsaws to cut down trees has to be coursed through the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

The PCSD recently relaxed chainsaw regulations to allow faster clearing operations for badly-affected areas.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.