By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Provincial Board passed a resolution of no objection during yesterday’s regular session, which allows for 300 eucalyptus trees inside the Panaad Park and Stadium to be cut down. The move will make space for a parking lot and is part of the ongoing renovations and repair work in preparation for the upcoming Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet and Palarong Pambansa, which the province will host in 2021.
“The trees were already identified and marked by the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) with the Panaad Park Stadium administration,” explained provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz. “[The selected contractor] will shoulder the labor costs for cutting down the trees and guarantee it will be done by experienced cutters.”
“The contractors are the ones to apply for the transport permits,” he added. “They will not charge the province a single centavo.”
Meanwhile, the provincial official revealed they have already received two offers from potential contractors, one willing to pay P100,000 and the second at P200,000.
Diaz called the second offer “advantageous to the government,” noting, “Not only is it bigger by 100 percent but [it] will be paid in cash.”
He said the amount will be used for beautification projects and the planting of endemic trees.
Meanwhile, the local legislative body also passed a resolution granting a PEMO forester the authority to represent the approximately 60 landowners at the Panaad Village.
“We will do it very carefully, conscientiously, and stage-by-stage,” Diaz explained. “This will allow them to finally utilize their land.”/DGB, WDJ