An ordinance seeking all barangays in Puerto Princesa City to regularly conduct tree trimming activities to avoid accidents has been proposed at the City Council by councilor Rolando Amurao.
Amurao said incidents of trees falling along national roads and village streets had been recorded in the past hurting innocent passersby.
“During the past, marami nang insidente na nabagsakan ng puno. Doon nga sa Rampano, may isang [puno] din, magandang-maganda siya, ‘yon pala ang gitna niya bulok na. Bigla lang nalaglag, halos kalahati ng puno [ang] nalaglag. Mabuti walang nabagsakan. [Ang ordinansang] iyan kasi ay gusto natin na talagang maiwasan ‘yong aksidente. Sabi nga, ‘we cannot stop accidents, but we can prevent them by being proactive,’” he pointed out.
Covered by the proposed measure are weak and old trees that might cause public harm.
He added that under his proposal, barangay officials should conduct regular inspections in roads and other public areas within their barangays.
“Kapag nakita nila na delikado na ‘yong puno, hazardous na siya sa public, awtorisado (authorized) na agad ‘yong barangay chairman na i-trim. Hindi naman talaga i-cut, i-trim [lang]. Kung kinakailangan nang putulin, saka tayo hihingi ng [permit] sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” the councilor said.
Amurao noted one of his employees has a tricycle whose driver, including his pregnant passenger, were badly hurt by a Palawan Cherry tree that snapped out of its roots last month.
“Noong bagong retire ako [as city police chief] in 2011, merong nalaglagan dyan [ng puno] sa Sta. Monica, namatay talaga ‘yon, patay talaga ‘yon. Marami na akong nakita na nalaglagan. [Meron pang nahulugan ng puno] sa gitna siya ng dalawang sanga. Mayroon ding nabagsakang motor,” he said.
He added although there are no records of these incidents, it does not mean they do not happen.
“Iyan naman talaga ang sinumpaan nating tungkulin. Sa local government code talagang naka-specify ‘yan ‘yong safety ng ating constituents mapangalagaan natin bilang barangay officials,” Amurao said.