Plant indigenous trees along BRT route, proponents urged

AN ENVIRONMENTAL advocate hopes that implementers of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will use indigenous trees for their greening program.Architect Patrick Gozon, a member of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc., told SunStar Cebu Friday, June 3, 2022, that the BRT implementation group should consider trees that can provide greater shade and are native to Cebu or other parts of the country.A total of 228 trees will be earth-balled in Cebu City and the majority of these are Indian Trees.In a recent interview, BRT project head engineer Norvin Imbong said they have already downloaded P17.5 million for the earth-balling activity. He said for a tree that will be affected by the project, the BRT project team will be planting another 100 trees in other locations.According to Gozon, the team should choose indigenous species of trees rather than sticking to Indian trees that do not provide a good deal of shade because of their spindle-looking form.Gozon added that choosing the right kind of trees on the sidewalk will be beneficial to pedestrians since it contributes to lowering the heat index.Among the native trees that Gozon recommended for sidewalk planting are Narra, Molave, Banilad, Talisay, Dangkalan, and Dita.In response, Imbong said they will just follow the guidelines that will be set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources when it comes to planting new trees.The earth-balling of trees is part of the preparation for Package 1 of the BRT Project—the construction of terminals and dedicated bus routes from the Cebu South Bus Terminal going to the Cebu Provincial Capitol.