A resident of Barangay Bucana is urging the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) to strictly implement Republic Act (RA) 9003 and apprehend residents/individuals caught cutting trees without permits.
Cora Refulle, who is also president of Bucana Coastal Environment Fisherfolk Association, told Mirror she has been strongly pushing for the implementation of RA 9003. She said she has also asked assistance through a resolution from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). RA 9003 is an act providing for an ecological solid waste management program.
“Sige lang man sila ug promise nga adtuan nila sa among barangay pero wala man gihapon nahitabo (They always promised to visit our barangay but nothing happened),” Refulle said.
She said the trees in the barangay could protect residents from floods and fire. “Maong dapat dili jud pamutlon ang mga kahoy hilabi na kung walay permit sa pagputol (That is why trees must not be cut especially there is no permit to cut trees),” Refulle said.
Refulle said the presence of trees around her house has kept her family safe from floods and the recent spate of fire incidents in the area.
“1990s pa, nagtanum nako ug kahoy. Dako ang natabang ani sa pagprotekta sa akong balay sa baha ug sunog (I planted the trees since the 1990s. They are a big help to protect my house from floods and fire),” she said.
She said during fire outbreaks, residents in areas which had trees, had more time to secure and save their belongings from the fire.
“Apil man ko sa Philippines Coastguard Auxiliary ug nagtabang mi og respond sa sunog diri sa Bucana, Nakita nako nga ang naka-save sa ubang balay kay ang kahoy (I joined the Philip-pines Coastgurad Auxiliary and we helped in responding in the fire incident in Bucana. I have seen that what saved the house was the tree),” she said.
2015 Lunhaw Awar-dee for Reforestation Initiatives Ric Obenza also said that planting non-resin trees in urban areas can also help in fire control and mitigation.
“Trees with resin, like pine trees, are very condu-cive to fire. This is one of the reasons that the fire spread rapidly in Mt. Apo. In subdivisions, non-resin trees should be planted, instead of pine trees, to help protect the homes from sudden fire outbreaks, especially with the unfolding of climate change,” he said.
He recommended tugas (Molave), bignay (Currant berry tree) and guyabano (Soursop) trees for green spaces in subdi-visions. “These are indi-genous trees which will readily adapt to our local soil and climate,” he said.
“Trees belonging to the genus Ficus, like tubog and balite are also good for fire cover,” he said.
Citing the significance of green spaces, Refulle said, urban tree cover can help mitigate sudden fire outbreaks in socialized housing settlements.
Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) Executive Director Ann Fuertes said this is another strong reminder why the city council should maintain the 10 percent green space requirement in Davao City.
“In the context of fire control, having trees in around or nearby houses reduces the risk that fire will spread further from its point of origin. It also provides our firefighters additional cover to protect them while they are containing the fire,” she said.
Fuertes said the proposal is still pending for first reading at the City Council as councilors are busy with the upcoming elections. (MAYA PADILLO, Mindanao Daily Mirror)