The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and the city’s one hundred twenty eight punong barangays for the periodic trimming of trees whose branches pose danger and rest along power lines, utility lines and roofs without obtaining a trimming permit.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon, the CEPMO, in coordination with the CDRRMC and the various punong barangays shall, in case of eminent danger or emergency, trim tree branches without the need of an application or issuance of a tree cutting/trimming permit.
Further, to expedite the process of trimming tree branches that pose danger to life and property without the need of a permit, there will be processes that will be followed such as any resident, community member, or local official who identifies a tree posing immediate danger to the public should report the same to their punong barangay; in turn, the punong barangay or designed barangay official shall conduct an immediate on-site assessment on the tree’s condition and potential risk to public safety; if the tree is deemed hazardous, the punong barangay shall notify the CEPMO about the identified hazardous tree, providing all relevant details from their assessment; the CEPMO, upon receiving the said report, shall promptly review the provided information, if the reported tree is considered an immediate danger to public safety, the CPMO shall grant the expedited approval before its trimming or cutting; with the approved authorization, the punong barangay or designated barangay officials shall coordinate with the CDRRMC that will take the necessary action to cut down the identified hazardous tree safely; after the tree has been safely removed or trimmed, the punong barangay or designed barangay official shall record the details of the action taken, including the date, time and method of removal; the punong barangay shall inform the CEPMO as well as the nearby residents about the successful removal of the hazardous tree and the measures taken to ensure public safety; the punong barangay or designated barangay official shall compile a comprehensive report of all hazardous removed within their jurisdiction and submit the same to the CEPMO and that the CEPMO shall review the reports submitted by the punong barangay and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the expedited process.
The city government shall include in its annual budget any amount as may be necessary for the effective implementation of the proposed measure.
Yaranon argued that in case of eminent danger or emergency, the application and issuance of tree cutting/trimming would hinder the opportunity to save life and property, thus, the periodic trimming and pruning of trees that have branches resting along power lines, utility lines, and roofs would reduce the risk of danger to life and property, especially during the onset of the typhoon season.
Earlier, the CEPMO released a memorandum which authorizes the cutting down of live and dead trees posing immediate danger to the public and expedited reporting process valid from July 27-31, 2023.
The ordinance stipulated that the expedited process could already be adopted by the city government to ensure that all trees posing danger to life and limb shall be cut or removed to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that compromise safety of individuals and properties.