The Philippines’ Oldest And Tallest Tree Is Saved
PHILIPPINE ROSEWOOD – Environmental groups as well as government officials have both made efforts to save the Philippines’ colossal centuries-old Rosewood.
This tree is believed to be the oldest as well as the tallest in the Philippines. It is located along Maharlika Highway at Brgy. Alegria.
The 54 meter Philippine Rosewood (toog) was earlier marked for cutting by the DENR. This is to prevent hazards to vehicles and commuters should it collapse.
The tree has been estimated to be at least 300 years old. However it already leans due to decay in the lower trunk.
According to DENR’s science research specialist, Dennis Gilbero, the tree posed a great risk based on its current health. He added that the tree could potentially collapse.
On the contrary, Dr. Marcelino Pacho, a tree surgeon, believed the tree could still be healed. However, Director Felix Alicer of the DENR still green-lit the tree cutting.
This caused protest from residents, environmental advocates, and local officials. They believed that the tree is considered part of the local heritage.
According to Inquirer, these people stated that the tree was a tourist landmark. Adding to this, The Vice President of the Society of Filipino Foresters weighed in on the issue.
He said that the decision to cut down the tree should have been deliberated on further. He added that the tree is covered by the laws on tree preservation.
Engineer Jaime Bernat then added that if the tree is cut down, we would have lost our pride. Bernat was also a public works official.
Bernat then suggested to place reinforced concrete buttress with enough room to support the leaning tree. This would prevent the collapse while they heal the tree.
Mayor Solomon Rufila said that they will do whatever it takes in order to preserve the Toog Tree. He then added that it is a national heritage as well as everyone’s concern.
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