A 60-day ultimatum from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to all local chief executives to reclaim all public roads. 60 days to clear all the illegal structures and road obstructions.

That’s 60 days of continuous cutting of trees by the roadside. 60 days of losing the very things that contribute to and support our advocacy on sustainable environmental protection.

A frequent traveler to several municipalities in Maguindanao, Masari, 32 years old, couldn’t help but utter the words “Kawawa naman ang mga puno,” as he passed by the roads and saw the trees rampantly cut and torn down by authorities.

“Why is this?” Masari asked. Same question that comes into the minds of our fellow Bangsamoro people.

Poor trees. Do really all of them serve as an obstruction to public roads? Are their coordination strategies conducted between and among LGUs and environmental agencies in pursuing this road widening project? Environment-wise, does the impact really benefit us all?

On behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy, Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua has delivered his manifesto regarding this environmental concern as there has been an outcry already:

“Kawawa naman ang mga puno,” and we indeed share the same sentiment.