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LOCAL legislators yesterday called for the planting of more trees, especially along roadsides and ravines to prevent accidents. Their clamor came a day after a pine tree stopped a mini-bus filled with students from fallling off a cliff in Dalaguete town on Friday.

Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale said the incident is a “good example” that proves the value of nature. “We encourage local government units to plant trees in critical areas (across the province),” Magpale said in a phone interview.

She said the provincial government has been urging local government units and the public to plant trees under the eGWEN (Expanded Green and Wholesome Environment that Nurtures Our Cebu) program, a partnership of the province and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. since August 2008.

Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez also sees the need to plant trees along the road to avoid accidents. “It’s already very dangerous for vehicles to travel especially with ravines on the sides. This is worth looking into,” he said. He said none of the legislators has passed a resolution that promotes the planting of trees along the roads.

A pine tree saved a mini-bus with 32 passengers, mostly students from Cebu City, from rolling down a mountain road in Dalaguete town and falling into a ravine. The bus, which had pulled over after overheating, sped downhill in reverse. If not for a pine tree at the edge of the cliff that stopped the slide, the busload of graduating students of Don Bosco Technological School would have become statistics of a tragic accident.

The tree stopped the bus from falling into the 500-foot deep ravine. Bus driver Reynaldo Quevedo has been investigated following the incident, said Raul Aguilos, director of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7).