QUEZON Governor David Suarez has ordered the temporary suspension of the issuance of barangay clearances for the cutting of coconut trees in the province.
Suarez issued Executive Order No. 29 due to reports of massive, rampant and unrestrained cutting of coconut trees and has directed the mayors and barangay officials of Quezon province to immediately suspend the issuing of the said barangay clearance for the meantime.
Suarez said this step shall mitigate the threat of the number of coconut trees diminishing which affects the lives of farmers, as well as the environment.
“The vast natural resources of the province is under immediate threat due to unrestrained and unnecessary cutting of coconut trees and there is a need to keep track and evaluate the percentage of those that still remain in Quezon as there are numerous validated reports of uncontrolled illegal cutting,” Suarez said.
He underscored the need to preserve the number of coconut trees in Quezon, considered as richest in CALABARZON (and/or one of the richest in the country).
The vast plantation of coconut trees in Quezon is the major source of income of the farmers.
One of the requirements for the issuance of permit for the cutting of coconut trees is a barangay clearance from the respective barangays wherein the coconut trees are located.
Suarez stressed that the temporary stoppage will be highly beneficial to farmers and local government because this will assess the present status and update the remaining percentage of uncut coconut trees in the province.
“We must take this action in order to provide adequate protection to the environment, as well as, address, evaluate and update the present situation regarding its adverse environmental concern,” Suarez said.
“This will allow for the proper planning of coconut tree planting which shall benefit our youth and enable the provincial government to set in place the necessary measures to ensure the coconut trees, a source of livelihood of Quezon farmers, shall be protected,” the Governor added.
In his directive, all barangay clearances secured for the cutting of coconut trees in the Province of Quezon shall hereby be temporarily suspended pending the assessment of the remaining percentage of coconut trees still uncut.
Second, all municipal mayors are directed to coordinate with the different barangays under their jurisdiction to implement the temporary stoppage of issuance of barangay clearances.
And lastly, the order mandated the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) to coordinate with Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the barangay in determining the remaining uncut percentage of coconut trees.