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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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Team eyed to
act vs. deadly trees

Jose Maria Vargas, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, yesterday said they are proposing the creation of a composite team that will survey areas in Bacolod City for trees especially along the roadside that may pause danger to the public to prevent future accidents.

This came after a centuries-old Mahogany tree toppled by strong winds hit the front windshield of a Toyota Fortuner in Brgy. Granada, Bacolod City Saturday killing Ken Marion Peñaflorida,7, and injuring his mother, Maureen Peñaflorida, 36.

The 7-year-old was sitting on the lap of his mother in the front passenger seat in the vehicle driven by his father Pototan Councilor Kent Roger Peñaflorida, 34.

The boy sustained a depressed skull fracture when his head hit the windshield crushed by the falling tree when the councilor stepped on the brakes of the sports utility vehicle in front of the Bacolod Boy's Home.

Some parts of the tree fell on a house inside the compound of the Bacolod Boy's Home but no one was injured since the children were inside the gym attending an activity.

Vargas said their office had responded to seven cases of fallen trees in the city in the past days.

If a treecould fall in the middle of the road and cause public danger especially to motorists, the CDRRMO is mandated to cut it down, he said.

He has been warning the public since last weekagainst possible danger paused by trees due to the strong winds, especially along Araneta Street in front of the Rizal Elementary School, Vargas said.

The composite team will be composed of the CDRRMO, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Central Negros Electric Cooperative. They have to come up with data first before they can create the team, he said

Max Sillo, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said the DENR has issued a directive that all issuances for cutting of trees along local or national roads should be secured from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Bago City.

Sillo said the survey to be conducted by the composite team will help them determine areas where there are trees that may pose danger to the public in order to prevent accidents.

DPWH is required to coordinate with the DENR in tree-planting activities especially when the trees will be planted along the roadside, he added.*CGS





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