Sagada road widening on; tree cutting suspended

>> Wednesday, April 6, 2016

By Gina Dizon  

SAGADA Mountain Province – Road widening of Makamkamlis Road to accommodate more vehicles in this tourist town to ease traffic is on.
Except for the section where there are trees grown, works were suspended following a special assembly with congregational  members of the  Church of the St  Mary the Virgin (CSMV) March 20.
Road widening of the  P11.7 million road improvement project of the Department of Public Works and Highways shall proceed at the lower end of Makamkamlis on a  400-meter section of the 13 kilometer Dantay-Sagada national road located near Sagada  weaving upward to the  upper curved road section near St Theodore’s Hospital.
An earlier consultation on the proposed road widening November 22  last  year with the presence of DPWH-District  Engineer Wilbur Likigan emphasized  drainage issues and eroding road parapets needing repair including attention to accident-prone and critical sections of the road.
The Nov. 22 consultation followed with the annual congregational assembly  Feb. 14  with no comments on the proposed road widening except a question on  what updates are from DPWH.
The lower end of  the road project  was the site of two motorcycle  accidents and a jeep which fell down a sayote patch some 50 feet from the street.    
‘Local interest’ should be foremost in the identification of  programs or projects covering the Mission Compound  former municipal mayor and former  CSMV  vestry Thomas  Killip said.
Makamkamlis Road is a distinct part of the  national and local road where trees are lined up and the  breezy feel of the air  is fanned by pine needles located in the  Mission compound accented by its green belt specially composing an  environmental ambience spot of this town.
Keeping the trees was a must, assembly delegates said, to keep environmental protection of the road.
The church has a no-tree cutting policy except when there is need to cut during dangerous conditions.     
Roots of some trees  have been cut due to earth-moving activities.  
Forester Christopher Bosaing  of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it would be  dangerous to keep a tree standing where the roots are   already cut off as the tree shall eventually die.
Questions on whether more trees would be cut were not answered but redesigning of the project was proposed. A suggestion from  a Sagada netizen said the space between two drainage spots and where some trees are found shall be filed with soil and planted with trees. 
 Suspension referred  to targeted cutting of 18  fully grown and mature pine trees including alnus trees on the road widening project extending three to six meters width including installation of flower boxes and  sidewalks.
The 90 day project duration started March 7 this year. Engineer Roland Matias of  DPWH said any suspension allows 60 days duration.
Inspection of the trees by  DENR, DPWH and DPWH followed after the consultation. A memorandum of agreement shall be  inked between CSMV and the DPWH on  management of the road.
CSMV  senior warden Mary Umaming said CSMV shall specially manage the road as part of the church’s  property. Parking comes as an incidental and practical result of the project and an eventual use on the soon to be improved road.
Following the suggestion of  some youths for another consultation, registered  organizations were  invited to submit position papers relative to  tree cutting or non-tree cutting on the  tree-grown portion of the  road widening project on or before April  7.


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