BISU to cut down 30 trees along CPG Ave.; petition vs. project gains momentum

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BISU to cut down 30 trees along CPG Ave.; petition vs. project gains momentum

Topic |  
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A row of some thirty big trees, mostly mahogany, that have served as cool shade and canopy along one of the busiest sections of CPG Avenue over the years will be cut down by the Bohol Island State University (BISU) – Tagbilaran City Campus.

However, the impending removal of the trees that are lining the fence of BISU-Tagbilaran alongside CPG Avenue, is being met with strong opposition from concerned citizens who are ventilating their protests against the tree-cutting through an online petition that is quickly gaining momentum.

The petition, posted on the online platform ““ that is heavily linked to major social media sites, is spearheaded by a loose group called Eco Bohol.


Eco Bohol refers to a notice displayed at the perimeter fence of BISU Tagbilaran campus along CPG Avenue which indicate that the university will be cutting 30 trees in the said campus.

Cutting Permit No. 07-12292023-00001 was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Tagbilaran which grants BISU – Main Campus in Tagbilaran City to cut 30 trees of various species, specifically, 24 mahogany trees, 1 chico and 5 kamagong trees with a total gross volume of 16.427 cubic meters and a total net volume of 11.499 cubuc meters.

The notice further indicates that the said trees “posed a danger to students, faculty, employees, and the property of the Campus, aside from being located along the national highway which poses danger to pedestrians and damage to vehicles.”

“[W]e assume [these] are the reasons why the trees had to be cut. This tree-cutting permit was requested and issued, we assume, under the category of cutting permit for ‘trees posing danger to human lives, limbs, and/or property in public places’ ”, the online petition states.

Aside from the impending tree-cutting, according to Eco Bohol, BISU was likewise granted another permit by CENRO Tagbilaran to prune and trim two (2) naturally-grown Balete trees within the same campus.

“The permit granted also used the same words alleging the danger these trees pose to the public.”


“It is a fact that thousands of trees have sadly been decimated in the name of ‘public safety,’ and that is a sacrifice that we must reckon with – no one wants trees to damage property and/or hurt people. But when thirty (30) trees are suddenly and en masse declared to be ‘public safety’ threats whilst an infrastructure project is clearly in the works – questions must be asked and answered,” the online petition asserts.


“Urban trees are important asset to cities. Trees cool the city, reduce air pollutants, and filter stormwater. Trees are climate change heroes; they sequester and reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Trees also contribute to the physical and mental health of residents and the community.”

“The kamagong or Diospyros Philippinensis is an indigenous slow-growing Philippine tree which, according to the National Parks Development Committee, is already considered critically endangered. While the Chico and Mahogany trees are introduced species, their ecological, health, and social values are the same. Generations of students, faculty, alumna of what was then known as Trade School, then BSAT, CVSCAFT, as well as Tagbilaran City residents will have fond and meaningful memories of these trees,” the online petition states.

According to the petition, “the many environmental benefits, ecological services, and socio-cultural values of trees to our community and environment cannot be overstated.”


“We, therefore, strongly appeal to the BISU – Main Campus administration to defer their plans to cut these precious trees. We urge them to live by their commitment to sustainable development, and design and implement infrastructure projects with nature, including existing vegetation.”

The online petition also calls on BISU, as one Bohol’s top educational institutions that it has much to gain in keeping its campus green. 


“Trees are vital components of green campuses which have been shown by various studies to have beneficial impacts on learning environments, healthier, more stimulating, and supportive settings for academic and personal growth.”

Eco Bohol is also appealing to the DENR-CENRO to revoke and re-assess the cutting permit they have issued to BISU and “conduct more due diligence before granting cutting permits.”

According to the group, the DENR should properly assess requests for a cutting permit involving trees within plazas, public parks, school premises, or any other public places that are alleged to “pose” danger to human lives, limbs and/or property in public places, and that “the party asking for the cutting permit must be required to conduct a tree risk assessment, including root and crown analysis, decay testing, storm/wind analysis, load testing, etc., done by certified arborists.

Thorough analysis must be made “to determine the likelihood and consequences of failure during a specified time period and, ultimately, to evaluate risk” and that said party must show proof that it has exhausted all means to reduce/mitigate tree risk, and has presented other solutions including earth balling and safely transferring affected trees to another site, and that the cutting of alleged trees is the absolute last resort.

The petitioner likewise urged the DENR to make public consultation mandatory and the whole evaluation process should be participatory and transparent.

“It is essential for authorities to thoroughly evaluate the necessity of the removal of trees, especially those within public spaces like plazas, parks, and school premises. While safety concerns are valid, alternative solutions such as tree maintenance, pruning, or reinforcing nearby structures should be explored before resorting to cutting down mature trees.”

“We appeal to the leaders of the City of Tagbilaran and the Province of Bohol to urgently declare and support a moratorium on cutting of trees in public forest lands, roads, plazas, and other public grounds in the province. Further, the province should earnestly plan and implement a comprehensive public space greening program that includes mapping and conserving existing public trees, vegetation, and the whole public space ecosystem.”

“As we reel from last year’s loss of the century-old acacia trees in Taloto, and the far-reaching effects of the global pandemic and the climate crisis (both direct impacts of environmental destruction and disruption), now, more than ever, is the time to nurture healthier, greener environments,” the petition concludes.


As of deadline last night, more than 500 have signed the online petition.

Atty. Ted Lagang, one of the signatories of the petition, said on his Facebook post that the reason cited by BISU that the trees pose danger to the public, and which became the basis for the issuance of a tree-cutting permit by DENR-CENRO, is somehow imaginary and fictitious as there have been no known incident that the trees have caused damaged to life and property over the years.

“Sa kadaghan estudyanti manglabay diha from Bohol High ug BSAT pa sauna, hangtud nausob usob nalang ang ngalan sa maong eskwelahan, nangapo nalang ang uban, WALA PA KOY NADUNGGAN NGA DUNAY NAHAGBUNGAN OG SANGA SA MAONG KAHOY unya moingon sila nga dangerous? Kinsa kahay giilad or gilipat ani?” Atty. Lagang said.

Another netizen, Jocelyn Dinorog Balatero said of the supposed danger the trees pose to the public, “[N]angapo na lang ko karon pa ko pa dungog ana.” (Kit Bagaipo)

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