The city government’s earth-balling machine shows how a tree is lifted from its hole to be transplanted to a new site on May 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Romina Magtanong)

The city government has acquired an earth-balling machine for its Urban Forest Program (UFP) which includes the creation of a Balayong Park near City Hall.

Romina Magtanong, city environmental specialist, told Palawan News on Saturday that the acquisition of the equipment will support the urban forestry program that was launched by the city government in 2006.

Magtanong said the UFP requires a lot of tree transfers as pocket forest parks and botanical gardens are going to be established in different areas in Puerto Princesa City.

“Napaka-delicate ng puno na hinukay mo at nilipat, napaka-critical ng kanyang condition, at ‘yon ay depende din sa manner ng paghuhukay, kapag ginawa siyang manu-mano,” she said.

This photo shows the earth-balling machine while in the process of digging out a tree from its hole during a demo on May 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Romina Magtanong)

In the past, she said the practice was to dig a circular shape around a tree prior to its extraction which takes four hours.

Magtanong said their supplier conducted a demonstration on the use of the equipment last May 30.

She said 60 Balayong trees were manually transferred to Balayong Park near the City Sports Complex in 2016 and 450 in 2018.

More than 150 Balayong trees will also be moved along the North National Highway, starting from Barangay Bacungan to Sta. Cruz because of an ongoing road widening project.

She said this inventory was conducted by their team in May this year.

“Nag-marking na kami ng mga Balayong trees na madadaanan ng widening… na-inventory namin nasa 150 plus na Balayong trees ang naghihintay na mailipat sila. Malamang sa malamang baka sa Balayong Park din natin siya ililipat,” she said.

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