House authorizes DPWH to cut road-obstructing trees PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:53

Committee on Public Works and Highways Chairman, Congressman Celso L. Lobregat lauded the House Committee on Natural Resources for approving House Bill 4208 which seeks to authorize the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to cut, ball, transfer, dispose or plant trees when implementing national or local infrastructure projects such as, but not limited to, clearing of road right-of-way and site clearing, development or preparation.

Lobregat said that this bill will truly ease the right of way problemsof DPWH by cutting and disposing trees which affects the road construction or widening being implemented by the said agency in national highways around the country.

House Bill 4208 grants the DPWH exemption from securing tree cutting, earth-balling, transfer, disposal and planting permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its agencies such as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and the local government unit (LGU) concerned.

Lobregat said that he is one with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (1st District, Davao del Norte) and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (1st District, Ilocos Norte) in supporting the bill.

The Speaker and the Majority Leader gave the environment committee directives to call on the DENR and the DPWH to have an executive arrangement and not wait for the approval of the bill to start the balling out of trees obstructing roads and causing accidents.

The Speaker and the Majority Leader also ordered the chairmen of the committees on public works chaired by Rep. Lobregat and energy chaired by Rep. Velasco to talk to the departments in charge of the issues.

The committee also reported the initiatives of Lobregat  in spearheading and being instrumental in realizing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) in removing electrical posts that are hazardous to motorists by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the DENR, which was already signed.

Congressman Lobregatsaid, securing tree-cutting/earthballing, transfer, disposal, planting permits from the DENR only delays the implementation of DPWH projects.

The solon proposed that the panel asks the Secretaries of the DENR, DPWH and DPWH to instruct all their regional directors to come up with an arrangement where the processing of the permits should be not more than 15 days so that the bill can be immediately implemented, pending its approval. – Dexter Yap/PR