Malaybalay councilor to Bukidnon governor: no enough lands for tree parks

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/13 May) – Saying small barangays may not have enough lands for tree parks, City Councilor Jose Medardo F. Estaniel has asked Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan to allow them to have common tree parks.

Calingasan has issued a memorandum requiring each barangay and municipality to establish a tree park before it may avail of development funds from the provincial government.

In his privileged speech during the session on May 10, Estaniel raised the collective concern of Malaybalay’s 46 barangays that not all of them have areas big enough for the required 25,000 trees which should be planted before June 25 this year.

He said the required number of trees needs roughly 25 hectares which barangays in the poblacion and small ones in upland areas have found hard to comply with.

Estaniel proposed common tree parks for small barangays. He also suggested that the barangays sign Memorandums of Agreement with owners of vacant private lands as well as with the provincial government for its existing tree park near the public market here.

Calingasan cited the policy of tying the release of development assistance to barangays and municipalities to their compliance with the provincial government’s re-greening program through tree parks in his opening remarks during the Bukidnon Watershed and River Basin Forum at the Bukidnon State University last month.

The governor said he will require the planting and growing of trees for infrastructure projects like towns halls and health centers and assistance for barangay foundation celebrations.

Calingasan said he has required towns to maintain a tree park for the multi-million aid he releases every year.

He has also required quarry operators to plant and grow trees before their annual permits may be renewed.

Mercy Ibcas, assistant provincial administrator, told MindaNews that even cooperatives and non-government organizations are required to plant trees before their request for funding support may be released. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)