Why Are Over 8700 Trees Being Cut Down Along SLEX? ‘Safety Concern’, Says Contractor
Jun 7, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jun 7, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
To the confusion of motorists in the south, over 8,700 trees (!!!) lining the roads of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) were suddenly gone. They were cut down over the past few weeks by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and San Miguel Corporation (SMC), and apparently with permission from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
While about 1,500 trees have been naturally grown along the roads, over 7,000 trees were actually planted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over a decade ago in an effort to reforest 1.5 million hectares over a five-year period.
— ella 🌻 (@mariaellaiza) April 11, 2023
The trees were cut down to make way for the road widening of SLEX. SMC also issued a statement that the trees have become a hazard: “While valued for their environmental and aesthetic benefits, the trees, over the years, have become a safety concern.”
— josemari (@JoseMariRobledo) February 4, 2023
According to the permit found along the roadside of SLEX, the plan to cut down was “requested by the DOTr, TRB-SMC SLEX CORP., covering the Road Right of Way of South Luzon Expressway located along the Expressway within the area of jurisdiction of the municipalities of San Pedro, Biñan, and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.” The permit was issued last February 10, 2023.
Motorists have shared how the winds feel stronger while driving down the expressway. This may lead to unsafe driving conditions, especially during the rainy season.
Trees which served as windbreaks, planted in part by the Luntiang Pilipinas program along the SLEX three decades ago have been mercilessly chainsawed. pic.twitter.com/5Rsb1Tbf00
— nared (@nednared) June 4, 2023
On top of that, the removal of trees also disrupts the ecosystem of the area, since these trees have contributed much to things like air quality maintenance and temperature regulation.
What is going to happen with all the tree wood that’s being cut from Slex? 8000 trees is a lot.
— Angelina Mead King 🏳️⚧️ (@Angiemeadking) June 4, 2023
SMC said that they will be preserving and safely replanting some of the trees in other locations, while felled trees will be repurposed into furniture to be donated to public schools.
In the meantime, SMC also promises to “plant and grow 100 new trees for every naturally-grown species cut and 50 for planted species in suitable locations recommended by the DENR.”
Motorists have taken to the online sphere to call attention to the ongoing tree-cutting along SLEX, citing safety and environmental concerns regarding the issue.
with climate change too evident 2 ignore, and Philippines recording a 51 degrees Celsius heat index in May, and then they cut trees from #SLEX? are we really making this world better by widening our roads yet getting rid of the best known “technology” to cool Earth? #SaveTheTrees
— Heero Potter (@heeropotter) June 4, 2023
“Tree planting” – pls prioritize the replacement of cut trees along South Luzon Expressway. Once a very “cool” and “green” SLEX, accdg to my foreign boss, now seems a wasteland of cut trees. #SavePHTrees
— Lei Arbo (@lei_arbo) May 29, 2023
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