PALAWAN – The city’s Environment and Natural Resources Office, representatives from the DENR and Barangay Sicsican officials on Thursday discovered the cutting down of a century-old Bakawan tree at Purok Golden Tree in the village.
A concerned resident tipped off authorities about the incident.
According to Kagawad Ronie Dayata, they have already identified the resident who cut down the tree for no apparent reason.
But officials saw that the area, located at the back of a cemetery, was occupied by houses. They said that converting the place into a residential area needs clearance from concerned agencies.
"Hindi po maaari ito. Bawal na bawal po ito,” Edwin Guilarin, city Enro officer, said.
Residents in the area, it was learned, had plans of making charcoal out of the cut tree and sell them for a price.
Barangay Sicsican chairman Noel Espa said they have already planned to implement a “Bantay Bakawan” in the area, but it proved too late.
"Naunahan ata tayo. Nakapili na sana tayo ng tatlong tanod na susweldohan naman ng city government,” he said.
Meanwhile, DENR officials will summon the resident who cut down the tree to shed light on the incident.
“Sa oras na hindi ito sumipot ay maaaring mas mabigat pang parusa ang kakaharapin nito,” officials said.
-- Report from Hazel Salas, ABS-CBN News Palawan