THE head of the Cebu City Parks and Playgrounds Commission admits to failure in checking trees that pose risks to the public.
This admission came after a car was hit by a fallen tree in Banilad last June 23.
Arlie Gesta, parks administrator admitted they may have overlooked some trees with only four out of their office’s 60 personnel mobilized for tree inspection.
“We really lack personnel,” said Gesta
“Two personnel undertake the road sides and center island and the other two concentrate on the tree cutting in barangays,” Gesta explained.
The June 23 incident where two trees fell in barangay Apas Cebu City, he said, was overlooked because they didn’t inspect the roots of the trees.
“The cause of that incident was so much moisture in the soil because it’s near the canal and because also of the rainy season,” Gesta said in Cebuano.
“Kumpyansa ra kayo,” (We were too complacent),” Gesta said.
He said that they will already consider the base of the tree when they will undergo another inspection.
“Next time we will consider its base and check if it has not much water content,” he said.
The commission’s task force had already conducted monitoring and an inventory right after a jeepney driver died when an old acacia tree fell on his vehicle in barangay Zapatera in August last year.
The task force had finished the inventory of more than 100 “dangerous” trees planted in public places in October last year.
Gesta said that out of the 100 plus trees identified along the roads and public places, only 20 percent of them were cut.
About 50 percent of these trees had undergone trimming and pruning while others were balled-out.
Gesta said they have been constantly monitoring mahogany trees whose branches are leaning towards the roads.
The monitoring includes their assessment on trees—whether its height need to be reduced through pruning or whether its branches need to be trimmed to reduce its weight.
“Actually we don’t usually cut. In most cases we ball it out and transfer to other areas,” said Gesta.
In Cebu City, there are 120 acacia trees that need immediate action, said Gesta.
Balled-out trees were transferred in areas like Plaza Independencia and Fuente Osmeña.
Gesta said pruning involves cutting of the trees main trunk to reduce its height while trimming involves the cutting of branches.
To offset their lack of personnel, Gesta requested barangay officials to also be in the look out for trees that may pose hazards in their communities. /Tweeny M. Malinao, Correspondent